I joined the Mumbai Customs in the year 1976, as Preventive Officer and retired as Superintendent of Customs (P) in the year 2008. In this 33 years of service I had an opportunity to serve in the Air Intelligence Unit at the Sahar International Airport for all together 16 years. During this period to my credit there are more than 400 nos. of seizures of various contraband Goods, such as Gold, Silver, Foreign-Indian Currencies, Narcotic Drugs, Electronic goods, Watches etc., effected by me. Also, more than 1000 nos. of seizures, I have played a major role as interrogator conducted searches in the towns and other follow up actions.
All these seizures were effected on the basis of the intelligence, observations, information, market study in regard to demand and profit in the smuggled goods, as well as various modus operendies. In course of action in regard to seizures, some time, me and my teammates were subject to threats, attacks and abuse.
Number of times I had effected two or three seizures in one shift duty,. However, during one such shift duty, I effected Six seizures of Gold smuggling in the duty hours from 8.00 p.m. dated 06.10.1987 till 8.00 a.m. dated 07.10.1987. On studying the flight schedule of International flights on Arrival as well as Departure, I planned my course of action to observe passengers arriving from sensitive places, rummage Aircraft and scrutinize cargo from such places.
1. Around 9.30 p.m. Air India flight AI902 arrived from Abudhabi. In the Arrival hall, I intercepted two passengers (1) Abdul Kunhi (2) Abdul Rehman, who had gold pieces concealed in the Headphone Connectors, kept in their baggage. Gold weighing 340 gms and 430 gms respectively was seized from them. Two separate seizures were effected, as they were not together. Both were arrested.
2. Around 1.00 a.m. Air India flight AI822 arrived from Dubai. With Aircraft rummaging Tool Kit, I alongwith Sepoy went on board the craft, as soon as the passengers got down. During the course of rummaging, two heavy packets wrapped with adhesive tape were recovered, which were concealed under the two adjoining seats. Gold weighing 10535.30 gms was seized.
3. Around 4.30 a.m., two passengers named (1) Mohamed Abdul Kader (2) Aboobaker Abdul Khader, were intercepted by me, when they arrived from Dubai by Emirate Airline flight EK-500. Gold weighing 550 gms and 380 gms respectively was seized from them, which was concealed in between watch movements and watch dials and Headphone Connector Sockets, kept in their baggage. These were registered as 02 separate cases.
4. Around 7.00 a.m. Kuwait Airways flight KU-321 arrived from Kuwait and Dubai. I had a intelligence about smuggling of gold through arrival cargo by this Kuwait Airways flight. Therefore, I went to cargo shed, where the cargo and unaccompanied baggage, arrived by the said flight was stored. As per my intelligence, there was one Trunk, which had arrived from Dubai as an unaccompanied baggage, which was picked and was subjected to X-Ray screening. Screening image indicated the packet, which was suspected to be bundle of Gold Bars. Under the Panchanama, the said Trunk was opened and examined, which resulted in the recovery of 100 Gold Bars of ten tolas each, totally weighing 11660 gms.
All above mentioned six cases were registered within the span of twelve hours’ shift duty of the A.I.U. Batch. All the cases were that of smuggling of contraband Gold in big quantities. Though it was tiring night with seizure formalities, panchanamas, recording statements and everyone was fully exhausted at the end of duty hours, it was really a memorable Day not only for me but for my entire team, Air Intelligence Unit and Sahar International Airport Commissionerate, all together.