Mangaluru: Aircraft maintenance technician arrested for smuggling of gold

Mangaluru, Jul 25: An aircraft maintenance technician was arrested at Mangaluru International Airport, Bajpe on Tuesday, Jul 25 by the officers of the directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) for his involvement in smuggling of gold.

Lalbin Jeen, working as maintenance technician with Jet Airways, is the arrested person.

DRI Mangaluru developed a specific intelligence which indicated that gold smuggling is going on through Mangaluru International Airport by adopting a modus operandi wherein gold bars of foreign make would be concealed inside toilets of aircrafts flying from Gulf countries to Mangaluru. Upon their arrival at Mangaluru Lalbin Jeen who has connived with the smugglers, would board the aircraft on pretext of maintenance work and retrieve the gold bars so concealed with a plan to hand over the same to the agents of smugglers later on at a designated place in the city.

Acting on the intelligence, the officers of DRI Mangaluru mounted surveillance at the airport in the morning hours of Tuesday and discreetly kept a close watch on the movements of the offender. The officers intercepted Lalbin Jeen, once he got down from Jet Airways flight 9W 531 arrived from Dubai.

During interrogation Lalbin Jeen confessed his guilt and produced two packets from the back pocket of his trousers containing 5 sovereign bars of gold each, which he admitted to have retrieved from the rear toilet of the said flight just a few moments earlier. He also stated that the smuggled gold was supposed to be handed over to an agent at City Centre Mall in the evening and his remuneration for this entire work was fixed at Rs 20,000.

The smuggled gold, totally weighing 1166.5 grams and having a market value of around Rs 34.41 lacs was seized by the officers and is liable for confiscation for violation of the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962.

Lalbin Jeen was produced before the chief judicial magistrate, Mangaluru and was remanded to judicial custody. Further investigation is in progress based on the leads provided by Lalbin Jeen.

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