Two people have been arrested by the customs officials for smuggling gold, worth nearly Rs 52 lakh, by concealing it in their rectum at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, according to an official statement issued on Friday. The accused, a man and a woman, were intercepted here after their arrival from Dubai on Wednesday.
"The officials seized gold weighing 1.14 kg, amounting to Rs 51.8 lakh, from the two passengers concealed in rectum in paste form," the statement issued by the customs department said. The passengers, both natives of Madurai, admitted to previous smuggling of gold and goods amounting Rs 1.03 crore during their past visits, it said, adding that the duo were arrested.
In another recent development, sleuths of the NIA, probing the Kerala gold smuggling case, visited the office of an autonomous institution under the state Higher Education department and gathered information on it allegedly facilitating distribution of the Holy Quran brought from the UAE through diplomatic channel. In a related development, a special court in Kochi sent Swapna Suresh, a key accused in the gold smuggling using diplomatic baggage, to four days custody of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Reaching the Kerala State Centre for Advanced Printing &Training (C-apt) office in Thiruvananthapuram morning, NIA officials sought details from its employees, including an official and a driver, regarding the distribution of Quran brought from the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, official sources said. The development comes days after Higher Education Minister Jaleel was questioned by the NIA at its Kochi office in connection with the case and the opposition Congress and BJP continued their protests seeking his resignation, alleging that gold was smuggled under the pretext of importing Quran.
Sources in the Central agencies probing the case had claimed that the consignments of Holy Quran were brought toC-apt before distribution at various places using its vehicles. Official sources said the NIA officials gathered information in detail from the C-apt officials on the Quran packets brought from the UAE consulate.
( with inputs from PTI )