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Air India Pilot Smuggles Gold Bars Worth Rs 15 L, Nabbed in Mumbai

The pilot was detained at the Mumbai airport on Wednesday when he was found in possession of the bars.

Updated
India
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On Wednesday, airport customs at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport booked a senior Air India pilot for smuggling gold worth Rs 15 lakh.

After interrogation and probing into other possible links, the pilot was allowed to leave.

Vijay Pratap, 46, had reportedly flown from Jeddah into Mumbai and had hidden the gold in his baggage.

He wasn’t arrested however, as the total value of the gold being smuggled was less than Rs 20 lakh.

In a statement to Customs officials, he said he had been an Air India employee for the last 20 years and that his current salary is Rs 5.5 lakh.

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When his baggage was scanned, officials detected a suspicious item in it. They marked the bag and kept a close watch on who picked up the bag, leading them to Pratap.

When he picked up the bag, he reportedly removed the mark with a handkerchief.

On his way out he was intercepted by customs officials, to whom he said someone in Jeddah had given him a packet of dry fruits for his family. Upon opening the packet, officials found seven gold bars concealed within. Pratap denied any knowledge of the gold bars.

The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) said Pratap was not arrested but the gold was seized under the Customs Act 1962.

AIU said investigations would continue, and if any prior involvement in such cases emerge, they may arrest Pratap.

(With inputs from Times of India and Hindustan Times)

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Topics:  Air India    Smuggling   Airport 

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