Mumbai customs AIU arrest six Chinese officials for 6 kg of crude gold smuggled into India
Mumbai, March16:The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai customs on Wednesday arrested six Chinese nationals, including two women, for allegedly smuggling crude gold into India. The AIU also seized 6.176 kg of gold worth Rs 1,85,28,000.
The accused — identified as female passengers Yang Ween, Zhou Lihue, male passengers Zhang Liming, Zhan Kun, Yang Binwei and Li Jianshu — holding Chinese passports, arrived at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on Wednesday.
According to AIU officials, the passengers arrived in two groups from two different places. Three passengers arrived from Hong Kong while the other three arrived from Beijing. On the arrival of the first group from Hong Kong, the AIU officials intercepted one of the passengers when he bent down while picking up his luggage, during which the chain he had concealed by wearing it on his waist became visible. The officers then thoroughly searched him, resulting in the recovery of the crude gold chain.
On interrogating him, he revealed that two of his accomplices had also arrived from Hong Kong and three others would arrive from Beijing after an hour.
The AIU officials then laid the trap for the other three people . They intercepted all six people and searched them. During the search, they recovered crude gold chains with a pendant depicting lord Buddha, buckles made of crude gold attached to the leather belt worn around their waist and a crude rectangular gold plate depicting Tibetan deities, all collectively weighing 6.176 kg.
“When we intercepted them, we realised that the gold chain that the accused was wearing is of 24 carats, and generally the jewelry is made with the 18 carat gold, that made our suspicion strong and led to the recovery of such huge amount of gold,” said an AIU official.
The AIU official said, “Zhou Liwui is a Hong Kong-based lady diamond dealer who often visits Mumbai for dealing. She is the main handler and had planned to smuggle the gold in India without paying the customs fees. She had planned the visit and hired this five people to smuggle the gold. We are investigating whether they have smuggled the gold earlier. It is the 17th visit of Liwui in India,” the official added
The AIU officials claim that the passengers, in their statement recorded under section 108 of the Customs Act, 1962, have admitted possession, carriage, concealment, and recovery of the said crude gold items which were being smuggled into India by them without payment of proper Customs Duty and in contravention of the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962.