Bengaluru

Theft complaint at KIA helps crack gold smuggling racket

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A complaint of theft filed by a Mysuru-based businessman, who had travelled from Bangkok to Bhubaneswar to Bengaluru, helped the CISF crack an international smuggling racket at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) on Sunday, all thanks to a case of double-crossing.

The racket came to light when Hanjarimal Jain, a resident of Sidharthanagar, Mysuru, went to the CISF Control Room with a police complaint to check the CCTV footage regarding a missing bag containing mobiles, cash, and important documents from one of the baggage conveyor belts. He was accompanied by Jidda Mohammad, a co-passenger of the same flight.

While viewing the CCTV footage, sub-inspector Sudhir Kumar of the CISF became suspicious of Mohammad and started questioning him separately. He then confessed that he and Jain were from Mysuru and were in the business of mobile phones.

Inquiries revealed that on Sunday, Jain flew from Bangkok to Bhubaneswar and told Mohammad to be at Bhubaneswar to travel with him on the same flight to Bengaluru. The tickets were booked by Jain. The same aircraft that flies Bangkok-Bhubaneswar, further flies to Bengaluru as a domestic flight.

Mohammad told the CISF personnel that he had been used by Jain to smuggle gold in two previous instances. He said he was aware that some precious items would have been smuggled in by Jain this time too, and took his friend Kashif Khan from Mysuru to Bhubaneswar to help him double-cross Jain.

“Kashif also travelled on the same flight from Bhubaneswar to Bengaluru. During the journey, Jain put four gold bars (approximately 400 gm) in Mohammad’s bag and kept the bag with him on the flight. While disembarking at Bengaluru, Jain handed over the bag to Mohammad and instructed him to return the bag to him outside the arrival hall, while Jain went to collect the registered baggage from the conveyor belt,” officials said.

In the meantime, Mohammad gave the bag containing gold bars to Kashif at the arrival hall, and the latter left with the bag. Later, Mohammad informed Jain that the bag was missing at the arrival hall, and the latter lodged a complaint at the KIA police station, officials said.

During a search of the arrival hall, CISF surveillance team intercepted Kashif with a bag containing mobile phones, SIM cards, ATM cards, and four gold bars.

Jain’s modus operandi was to travel from Bangkok to Bhubaneswar and hide the gold in the seat. He would then travel to Bengaluru in the same seat on the domestic leg of the same aircraft. He would hand over the smuggled gold concealed in the seat to another domestic passenger, so that if customs officials checked him at KIA, they would not find the smuggled items with him.

His passport revealed that he had travelled to Bangkok 28 times since January, Hemendra Singh, Assistant Inspector-General of CISF, said.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 1:34:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/theft-complaint-at-kia-helps-crack-gold-smuggling-racket/article24256342.ece

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