A passenger from Dubai was held at the airport in Amritsar for allegedly smuggling gold while an aerobridge operator was caught for conniving with him, officials said on Sunday.
The passenger had arrived in Amritsar on Saturday by an Air India Express flight. He was intercepted by Customs officials at Sri Guru Ramdas ji (SGRDJI) International Airport, Amritsar.
A statement issued by the Customs department said that during the search of his baggage, a gold bar weighing 587 grams was found concealed in the shoulder bag.
The gold bar has an estimated market value of Rs 31 lakh and was seized. On further questioning, the passenger admitted that he was carrying two gold bars and he handed one of them to an aerobridge operator.
He said that he was directed to hand over the gold bar to the ground staff member who would approach him and give a code word. To confirm the passenger's claim, CCTV footage was scanned and the staffer was identified, according to the statement.
The operator was an employee of the company which has the contract for aerobridge operations at the airport, it said.
During further investigation, the staffer admitted that he was involved in the smuggling of gold on previous occasions as well.
He was handing over the smuggled gold to a colleague who too works as an aerobridge operator with the same company, said the statement.
The duo was arrested and sent to 14 days judicial custody and efforts are on to apprehend the other aerobridge operator, said the official.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)