The Custom Division, Imphal on Sunday seized 65 gold bars weighing around 10.79 kilograms in total from the Imphal International Airport while trying to smuggle to Delhi by an individual in Air Asia Flight.
The total value of the seized gold bars is estimated to worth around Rs.57,672,550, as per Customs officials.
The alleged smuggler is identified as Wangkhem Ibungobl Singha, 33, son of late Wangkhem Babaton Singh of Awang Khunou, Maning Leikai, Imphal West.
The seized gold bars along with the arrested individual was produced before the media during a press conference held on Monday at the Custom Division, Imphal office in Sangakpham, Imphal East.
Acting on specific information received by the Superintendent (AIU) Imphal Customs Division to the effect about the carrying of illegal gold bars, the Custom team led to the seizure and the arrest, said assistant commissioner of Custom Division, Imphal HL Songate.
Narrating the operation, he said as soon as Custom office received the input, its officials of AIU approached the said person and introduced themselves as Customs Officers and enquired whether he has anything contraband in his luggage, to which he replied that the luggage was not his and that it was given by another person to carry it till Delhi for some monetary consideration.
The luggage was opened by the Customs officers in the presence of Air Asia staff and was found to contain 65 pieces of yellow metal suspected to be gold of foreign origin concealed in black polythene plastic wrapped in blanket inside the luggage, he added.
As per the assistant commissioner, the gold bars are modified from the original for the convenience of smuggling.
Informing that most of the smugglers have good network and there are many IVR between Pallel to Imphal so it is a big plus point for the smugglers, he said however the Custom officials are giving its best effort to control such smuggling of contraband items.
A case has been registered in connection with thr seizure and investigation is in progress to nab the other offender(s) in connection with the case, he added.