All of you are aware that the Mumbai Airport Baggage Hall at night time is always a hustle bustle place where hordes of passengers arriving by various flights converge to collect their baggage. It is nightmare for passengers to identify their own baggage and bring them to custom counter for baggage clearance.
I wish to narrate my sordid memory which is dated back in 1992 when I was posted at Airport. I was on my usual night duty and I was assigned the job of screening baggage of passengers. While attending to my job, I found black dots on the screen from a small bag. On making enquiries with the lady passenger about the presence of black spot images, she revealed the possession of gold in the said bag. Hence she was directed to go to the counter for giving proper declaration and clearance.
After putting all her bags on the trolley and as she was about to move to the counter, she realized her bag containing gold ornaments was missing, she immediately started raising hue and cry leveling allegations against the customs staff.
But one of our alert officers with his presence of mind asked the lady passenger whether she had inadvertently kept the missing bag on any other passenger’s baggage trolley. When she failed to retrieve her bag containing gold ornaments, the said officer took the lady passenger outside the arrival baggage hall. Standing at vantage point the said officer asked the lady passenger to have a close view of all the trolleys to identify her missing baggage. While doing so, her gaze fell on one of the trolleys and she at once glance identified her bag containing ornament lying on the trolley held by another lady passenger. Both the officer and lady passenger in tow walked down to said suspected trolley and enquired with lady passenger who was holding the said trolley regarding ownership of the said bag. She was still reluctant to give it back until her husband came back from taxi booking counter.
When the lady passenger retrieved her missing bag, she realized her own mistake and regretted for blaming Customs staff for no rhyme or reason.
I wish to narrate few cases which were detected while serving in AIU .
AIU File No.SD/INT/AIU41/2003 AP ‘A’ - Unique seizure took place at Mumbai International Airport customs baggage hall wherein 26 plastic bags of Cubic Zirconia weighing 41.840 Kgs valued at approximately Rs.56 lakh were seized on 20-8-2003 when I was on night duty in AIU ‘A’ BATCH.
One of the domestic passengers from Delhi by name Ifran Gulam Ahmad was accosted on suspicion who opted green channel for clearance. He travelled by Air India Flight No. AI-305 dt. 20-08-2003 Bangkok-Delhi-Mumbai. On repeated questioning, he agreed that one black zipper Trolley bag which he was carrying did not belong to him but belonged to one lady passenger Neha Jayant Dave. When he showed the said lady passenger it was confirmed from her travelling documents that she was international passenger travelling from same Air India flight from Bangkok. Both the passengers were taken to AIU Office along with Panchas for further seizure proceeding. Lady passenger by name Mrs. Neha Jayant Dave and domestic passenger Shri Ifran Gulam Ahmad were arrested.
Unique seizure of Heorine concealed in buttons stiched in ladies night gowns Vide AIU File No.SD/INT /AIU/78/2009 AP ‘C’ unique seizure took place at Mumbai International Airport customs departure area( Make up area) wherein 2.85 kgs Heroin concealed in 923 buttons in number stitched in ladies night gown numbering 30 was seized while I was on duty in AIU on 16-09-2009
One checked in baggage bearing serial No.BA252816 lying in make up area without security strap was identified suspicious. So with the assistance of British Air Line staff, passenger was identified by name Ms. Thienmoli Mathaven holding Malaysian passport No. A-14686857, aged 29 years old who was to travel to London by British Airways flight No. BA138. Passenger and her baggage along with panchas were taken to AIU office and further seizure proceeding took place and said passenger was arrested.