Guwahati: The Customs department has seized 65 gold bars worth Rs 5, 76, 72,550 at the Bir Tikendrajit International Airport in Imphal.

According to reports, the gold bars weighing around 10.79 kg were seized on Sunday morning from the possession of a 33-year-old passenger, who was about to travel to New Delhi by an Air Asia flight.

The passenger, identified as Wangkhem Ibungobl Singha, a resident of Manipur’s Imphal West district, was arrested under relevant sections of the Customs Act, 1956.

Acting on specific input that a passenger was trying to smuggle illegal gold bars to Delhi, a team of Custom sleuths conducted a search at the airport and seized the gold bar from his possession.

“As soon as the Customs office received the input, its officials at 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,” Indian Express quoted HL Songate, assistant commissioner of Customs Division, Imphal as saying.

Songate said Customs sleuths opened the luggage in the presence of Air Asia staff and found 65 pieces of yellow metal, suspected to be gold of foreign origin, concealed in black plastics and wrapped in a blanket.

He said gold bars are modified from the original ones for the convenience of smuggling.

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