New Delhi: International flights from and to India have just resumed operations, but smuggling rackets have already become active, though their medium is the government-operated Vande Bharat flights only. Also Read - Wildlife Smuggling of Exotic Species From Myanmar Seized in Assam by Forest Officials
On Thursday, 11 passengers have been arrested at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad, for smuggling 3.11 kg of gold worth Rs 1.66 crore from Dammam. Also Read - British Man Caught Smuggling Cocaine Inside Fake Penis, Might Face Three Years in Prison
This is, however, not the first attempt at smuggling. Last week, the officials seized gold worth around ₹3.5 lakh from a person who arrived in a Dubai flight. The passenger concealed 74 grams of contraband in his wristwatch. Also Read - In Viral Video, Tihar Prisoner Claims Officials Smuggled Him Phones, Staff Refutes Allegations
Recently, the Gurugram Drug Control Department busted a smuggling cartel that was planning to smuggle COVID treatment drug to Iraq. Reports said, Remdesivir, which costs Rs 5,400 a vial in India was priced at Rs 1 lakh a vial in Iraq.
Six passengers were arrested at Sri Guru Ramdas Jee International Airport carrying 10.22-kilogram gold concealed in household appliances.
Early in July, over 50 lakh worth of gold was seized from two passengers who flew to Kerala from Dubai in a chartered flight.
Since March 25, international and domestic flight operations were shut in India and the country went into a lockdown period, which continued to be extended till June. However, from early May, the civil aviation ministry started operating repatriating flights only to rescue stranded Indians from abroad. According to customs officials, repatriating flights from Middle-east made international smuggling rackets active and several instances have come to the notice, of later.