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2 Customs officials booked for “abetting gold smuggling”

The CBI has booked two Superintendents of the Customs Department, earlier posted with the Air Intelligence Unit at the international airport in Ahmedabad, for allegedly facilitating gold smuggling from Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The officials have been identified as Somnath Chaudhary and Sujeet Kumar. The other accused persons are Sajahan Chowdhury, Shahidul Chowdhury, Mohamad Sarfraj, Shamim and Mohammed Azam.

It is alleged that some persons based in Gujarat’s Vapi were smuggling in gold in the form of paste and jewellery, via the Ahmedabad airport, by roping in carriers. Two such alleged couriers, Sahidul and Sarfraj, were intercepted at the airport on June 27, 2019, by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence’s zonal unit.

A gold chain weighing over 1.4 kg and gold paste weighing 1.83 kg, from which pure gold of 1.127 kg was extracted, 10 kg saffron of Iranian origin and 4,000 ‘gutkha’ pouches were seized from them.

Sajahan and his brother ran a jewellery shop in the name of Tinku Bhai Jewellers in Vapi. They also had a gold refinery. The gold was to be delivered to him, as alleged.

Sajahan, Shadidul and Sarfraj were arrested on June 29, 2019, under the Customs Act. Further probe revealed that they, in conspiracy with Shamim of Dubai and Mohammed Azam of Mumbai, had smuggled in over 13 kg of 24-carat gold worth over ₹4.7 crore over the past several months. The accused Customs officials extended favours to them in lieu of monetary gains.

Somnath Chaudhary was also arrested under the Customs Act on August 6, 2019.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 7:28:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/2-customs-officials-booked-for-abetting-gold-smuggling/article33658603.ece

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