It appeared to be no less than a movie scene for over 160 passengers on board an aircraft when they saw customs officials entering the plane and carrying out an arrest and seizure operation of two alleged gold smugglers.
The accused, who hail from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, were travelling in a flight from Chandigarh to New Delhi, police said.
The officials arrested the two men for carrying little over three kilogram of smuggled gold worth nearly a crore on Friday afternoon, sources said.
The customs officials at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport here, who got last-minute input that the duo were carrying smuggled gold, rushed to Terminal 1 which is about a 15-minute drive from Terminal 3 of the international airport, the sources said.
Due to paucity of time and credibility of inputs, customs officials after reaching Terminal 1 decided not to wait for the passengers to disembark by the airline's bus and instead went directly inside the plane, they said.
The officials formed two teams and entered the plane from the front and rear sides.
After entering the plane, the customs officials asked all passengers to remain seated and support in the law and enforcement action being taken up by them, one of the passengers said.
"It all appeared to be a movie-like scene for me. The customs officials caught two passengers who were sitting on separate seats. We all were surprised to see the passengers were carrying the gold," he said, after coming out of the airport. The duo were later arrested and the gold was seized, customs officials said.
Meanwhile, in another incident an Aizawl-based man was apprehended by the CISF at Guwahati airport with 39 gold bars worth Rs 2.08 crore, a senior official said on Sunday.
A CISF spokesperson said the man was supposed to take a flight to Kolkata when he was intercepted by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel after they found a gold bar in his baggage.