Keralite kingpin of Rs 70-crore gold smuggling case arrested at Bengaluru airport

Keralite kingpin of Rs 70-crore gold smuggling case arrested at Bengaluru airport

Bengaluru: The Keralite kingpin of the Rs 70-crore gold smuggling case of 2018 was arrested from the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in Bengaluru on Thursday. Shihabudheen Thadathil, 45, a native of Koduvally in Kozhikode, was nabbed by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials.

Around 200kg of gold was smuggled through scores of passengers from June to October, 2018. Authorities said that he was the main person controlling the smuggling from the Gulf countries. His role was revealed after the Customs seized around 10kg of gold from 10 passengers in 2018.

Though attempts were made to arrest him then, Shihabudheen fled to Dubai.

From salesman to smuggling

Shihabudheen, who was a mobile shop employee in Kozhikode 20 years ago, reached Dubai as a salesman at a hyper market. He then forged ties with those in the smuggling racket. He owns several shops and flats in Bengaluru, Kozhikode and Kochi.

After it was revealed that Shihabudheen had smuggled gold via several passengers, a lookout notice was issued against him. Unaware of this, Shihabudheen landed in Bengaluru from Dubai last Friday and was nabbed by the DRI sleuths.

Keralite held in Mangaluru

Meanwhile, gold worth nearly Rs 10 lakh was seized from a passenger who had arrived by an Air India Express flight at the international airport in Mangaluru.

Mohammed Mahir Patla Majeed (24), a resident of Patla in Kasaragod district, had concealed the 233.18 gm of gold inside a rechargeable emergency light and a solar sensor light, sources said.

Based on information, Majeed was intercepted on suspicion and was found to have been carrying the gold in the form of strips worth Rs 9.39 lakh, they said.

A case has been registered under the Customs Act of 1962 and further investigations are on.

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