The union finance ministry on Friday said the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) foiled gold smuggling bids worth ₹14.43 crore in two separate operations at the Chennai International airport this week. DRI seized 23.34 kg gold during an attempt to smuggle foreign gold into the country.

In one operation, a passenger coming from Dubai via Sri Lanka was carrying gold in paste form, while in another incident, a Sri Lankan national arriving from Sri Lanka had concealed gold in chocolate packets. Both persons have been arrested and remanded to judicial custody, according to the ministry.

"The operation was conducted on 8th May 2023. The DRI officers developed intelligence that a passenger, who arrived at Chennai international airport from Dubai through Colombo, was carrying huge quantities of foreign-origin smuggled gold and was on his way to his residence in Chennai," the ministry said in a release.

"Accordingly, he was intercepted while he was getting down from an auto rickshaw near his residence. Examination of the person led to the recovery of gold in paste form concealed in various knee caps worn by him and in specially made pouches in his pants. After extraction, 13.28 kg of gold totally valued at 8.28 crore was recovered and seized," the ministry added.

"In another operation conducted on 11th May 2023, the DRI officers intercepted a Sri Lankan national arriving from Colombo at Chennai international Airport," the ministry release said.

"On examination of the hand baggage of the passenger, gold in paste form was found concealed inside 8 chocolate packets. Melting of the paste resulted in the recovery of gold weighing 10.06 kg valued at Rs 6.15 crore," it added.

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