The Central Bureau of Investigation has charged three Customs and GST officials based in Bengaluru for allegedly helping smugglers bring gold from Dubai in the form of paste, officials said on Tuesday.
The agency had received information that Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officials had intercepted six international passengers who were handing over smuggled gold to some receivers.
During investigation, it was found that the gold was being smuggled in the form of paste, which was hidden in the waist belt by the couriers, the agency said.
The CBI alleged that on October 14, 2018, six carriers brought 11 kilogram gold costing Rs 3.67 crore which was seized by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officials.
"It is learnt that the smugglers convert gold into powdered form and thereafter mix the gold with some substances and make it into a compound which physically will be in the form of a paste. The paste is hidden in the waist belt worn by the carriers," the agency alleged.
It is alleged that Rajnish Kumar Saroh, Superintendent of Central Taxes, GST; Sudarshan Kumar, the then Inspector of Customs at Kempegowda International Airport Limited, Bengaluru; and Shiv Kumar Meena, Inspector Customs, Air Intelligence Unit at the airport were hand in gloves with the people involved in the smuggling allowing them to go scot free.
Rajnish Kumar Saroh entered into criminal conspiracy with the smugglers based in west Asia to let passengers bringing gold come out of the Customs checking zone without any trouble, the agency alleged.
The officials were working in collusion with NT Jamsheer, who is the owner of Best Way Super Market in Bengaluru and was in contact with various smugglers and investors located in Dubai, the agency alleged.
Rajnish Kumar Saroh used to receive Rs 75,000 from Jamsheer while Rs 15,000 was being paid to Sudarshan Kumar and Meena for each courier, the agency alleged.
The smugglers selected passengers who were not in the suspect list and their details were sent in advance to Jamsheer who passed them on to Rajnish Kumar Saroh, it said.
He allegedly checked customs database and intimated Jamsheer if selected couriers were in the list of suspects or not, the CBI alleged.
He also used services of Sudarshan Kumar posted at KIAL from August, 2017 to August, 2018 and thereafter that of Shiv Kumar Meena in the conspiracy, CBI FIR has alleged.
Once clearance about couriers was received from Rajnish Kumar Saroh, the smugglers sent them with illicit gold which was let go at the airport by the accused officials, the agency alleged.