65 gold bars worth Rs 5.76 crore seized at Imphal Airport

Imphal: The Customs division in Imphal has seized gold worth almost Rs 5.76 crores from a person during an operation at Imphal International Airport, an official said.

Addressing a press conference today, Assistant Commissioner, HL Songate of the Custom division said that a total of 65 gold bars weighing 10.79 kg were seized on Sunday. He alleged the gold was about to be smuggled to Delhi. The arrested person was later identified as Wangkhem Ibungobl Singha (33) of Awang Khunou of Imphal West district.

A total of 65 gold bars weighing together 10.79 kg were found in the luggage of the person who was about to take an Air Asia Flight from the Imphal Airport. The total value of the seized gold bars would be around Rs 5,76, 72,550, he said.

The officer said that the personnel of the Customs division launched the operation acting on specific information passed by the superintendent (AIU) of Imphal Customs division yesterday. He further said as soon as the input was received, officials of AIU approached the said person and introduced themselves as Customs officers and enquired whether he had anything contraband in his luggage. The person first denied that the luggage belonged to him while asserting that it was handed over to him by another person to carry it till Delhi and he accepted as the person offered him money as transportation charge.

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Later, the Customs officials opened the luggage in the presence of Air Asia staff and it was found to contain 65 pieces of yellow metal suspected to be gold of foreign origin concealed in black polythene plastic wrapped in a blanket inside the luggage, the officer also said.

The gold bars were modified from the original for the convenience of smuggling, he added.

A case was registered in connection with the seizure and investigation is in progress to nab the other offender(s), he further added.

NNN

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