Officials say that the gold was smuggled in a pipe located under an airplane seat. (Photo: iStock)
On airplanes, your seat may be used as a flotation device.
It can also be used to smuggle gold.
On Sunday, customs officials discovered 6.8 pounds of gold hidden underneath the seat of a plane at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, India.
The gold was found on Air India flight AI-952 from Dubai. According to The New Indian Express, officials were tipped off and decided to search the plane. That’s when they discovered the gold estimated to be worth 7.5 million rupees (about $112,291 USD).
Investigators say that this was the fifth time they have been tipped off in the last six weeks concerning the smuggling of gold.
In fact, they predict that this incident is part of a racket where a smuggler hides gold on the flight, and another passenger boards the plane in Hyderabad en route to Visakhapatnam and retrieves it.
“In flights, there would be a hollow pipe which supports the three seats. The window side of the pipe is usually open and gold biscuits are kept inside that for the next passenger to locate and retrieve,” an official told The New Indian Express.
Officials also predict that aviation personnel could be in on the racket.
“Without airport officials’ assistance it is not possible to smuggle out anything,” the official added.
Since December, customs has seized 22 pounds of gold on Air India flights.
No arrests have made because the gold was found abandoned.
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