Gold ornaments worth nearly Rs.2 crore were recovered from a Qatar Airways flight after it landed at the Dabolim international airport in Panaji on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the central enforcement agency said. There were no claimants for the jewellery.
The 18-carat gold ornaments were packed in 11 plastic packets concealed under seat number ’33 C’ of the Qatar-Goa flight. They were found during the flight maintenance operation after passengers disembarked.
“There are no claimants for the packets which were concealed under the seat. We questioned the airline crew as well as the maintenance staff. The seized contraband comprises gold ornaments weighing around 10 kg, some of which have precious stones,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson described the catch as one of the “big seizures” made at the Goa airport in recent times.
On October 30, customs sleuths in Goa had seized a consignment of gold worth Rs.95 lakh from an Air Asia flight from Malaysia.
Last month, chairman of Central Board of Excise and Customs Najib Shah had told IANS that gold smuggling was a “major challenge” for the enforcement officials.
Dabolim airport has emerged as a major transit facility for international smugglers for ferrying gold to Karnataka and Kerala, especially contraband gold shipments inbound from the Gulf region.