Huge haul of gold in plane lavatory

Chennai: Customs officials at the Chennai International Airport have uncovered a novel smuggling method during a routine inspection of a flight arriving from Abu Dhabi.

Approximately 4.5 kg of gold bars, valued at Rs 2.51 cr, were ingeniously hidden in the aircraft lavatory, accessible only through a number lock pattern.

The discovery came to light when flight attendants, during routine cleaning of the aircraft after its arrival, noticed that the cable box containing electrical wires in the lavatory was slightly open. Upon closer inspection, a parcel wrapped in black tape was found concealed inside the cable box area.

Chennai airport manager and security officials were immediately notified, leading to the involvement of Chennai Airport Customs officials. Upon further examination, the parcel was found to contain smuggled gold bars weighing 4.5 kg, valued at nearly 3 crore in the international market.

The flight in question was scheduled to arrive as an international flight from Abu Dhabi and then depart from Chennai to Hyderabad as a domestic flight. This aspect raises questions about the smuggling operation’s intricacies and whether it involved collusion with airport staff or other individuals within the smuggling network.

A case has been registered, and investigations are currently underway from multiple angles. Customs officials are scrutinizing CCTV footage from the flight as well as the passenger disembarkation area at Chennai International Airport to ascertain further details and potential suspects.