A smuggler detained for smuggling gold by Customs at the city airport on Thursday managed to give authorities the slip and escaped from airport.
The man, supposedly a carrier, was detained for smuggling 640g of gold, worth Rs 16 lakh, after he arrived from Sharjah on the Air Arabia flight at 4.30am on Thursday.
Sources said, "He had hidden gold bars inside an induction stove. He was held by Customs officials and taken for questioning. He them the slip and escaped, leaving behind his belongings. Authorities hadn't even taken a copy of his passport so his name is not known."
Sources said that he may have been carrying more gold hidden on his person. This is the first time a person has escaped from Customs detention.
According to sources, the gold bars have been put under unclaimed seizures by airport officials. Customs department will scan CCTV footage and initiate an investigation into the incident.
According to customs rules, if a someone is returning from a foreign stay of less than six months, he is supposed to pay 36.5% duty on gold and if the stay is longer than six months, the duty is 10%. Two months ago, Customs department had formed an Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) to check smuggling at the city airport.
In last year, smuggling has increased manifold after duties were imposed on gold imports. This is the second such incident in October and 46th since January 2014. Since January 2014, Customs has seized 52.26 kg of gold, worth Rs 14.99 crore and detained 61 smugglers at the city airport.