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Three people held for trying to smuggle sandalwood, gold bars

smuggling

Three persons were caught at the international airport in two separate incidents for allegedly trying to smuggle sandalwood and gold bars 

smuggling

File photo

Mumbai: Three persons, including a couple, were caught at the international airport in two separate incidents for allegedly trying to smuggle sandalwood and gold bars collectively valued at Rs 16.26 lakh.

Couple Dipak Maradia and Panna Maradia, holding Sudan and Indian passports, respectively, were handed over to forest department in connection with the sandalwood seizure, a Customs official said today.

According to Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of the Customs, the couple was intercepted at the airport yesterday and upon checking their huge luggage, 117 kg of sandalwood worth Rs 3.15 lakh was found.

The Indian government has prohibited the cutting or export of sandalwood.

The couple along with the sandalwood was handed over to the Forest Department for allegedly attempting to smuggle it out of the country, the official said.

They were to fly to Khartoum in Sudan via Doha.

The officer, however, did not explain as to why the couple had passports of different countries.

In the second case reported on Wednesday, Makkakodan Balakrishnan, who had arrived from Dubai, was intercepted on suspicion, and upon frisking, it was found that he had hidden four gold bars valued at Rs 12.75 lakh in his sandals, the official added.

The gold bars were seized and he was allowed to go.

No arrest was required in the case, but the passenger would be called for questioning as and when required, the official added.

PTI

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