210 kg gold smuggled through int’l airport in two rackets, only 12 kg seized

Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 month ago | 11-08-2022 | 06:00 am

210 kg gold smuggled through int’l airport in two rackets, only 12 kg seized

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on the intervening night of August 5-6 arrested an international passenger on a Fly Dubai flight attempting to smuggle in 1.075 kg gold worth Rs 60 lakh in his rectum and underwear, while the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Customs on August 7 busted another passenger attempting the same. This is just the tip of the iceberg.Mirror has now learnt that two gangs of organised gold smuggling racketeers had earlier this year managed to smuggle 210 kg of gold with the help of airport employees at the international terminal (T2) of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad.The racket busted on July 11 involved illegal gold changing hands inside the VIP lounge that is located before the immigration counter and then taken out of the terminal through a door connecting it with the departure area. A terminal manager and three sweepers of T2 among others were accused in this case for ferrying the undeclared gold out of the airport. DRI had seized 3.85 kg gold worth Rs 2.02 crore in this case.The second racket, busted on July 24, involved gold carriers passing on the illicit gold to an employee manning the counter of the duty-free shop, located between the immigration and Customs counters at the international terminal. The duty-free shop employee is accused of being the middleman enabling duty evasion by carrying the gold out of the terminal using his access card. DRI seized 8 kg gold worth Rs 4.21 crore in this case.Heavy smugglingthis yearSources revealed that a total of 210 kg gold was smuggled over several months this year, with 50 kg gold passing through the VIP lounge and 160 kg gold passing through the duty-free shop, right under the noses of a number of security and vigilance agencies at the international airport.During investigation, the accused in the VIP lounge smuggling case had revealed they had managed to conduct at least 13 landings of illicit gold before being busted by the DRI. Assuming that at least a similar amount of gold (3.85 kg) was smuggled each time, the total falls to 50 kg gold.However, the racket that was being run from the duty-free shop was much bigger, said sources. Accused have allegedly revealed that there has been about 15-20 landings of smuggled gold facilitated before the DRI busted their modus operandi. At 8 kg per flight, the quantum of smuggled gold being investigated in this case is assumed to exceed 110 kg.Investigation is currently underway into how many carriers were involved in gold smuggling for these two different operations, who ran these rackets possibly from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).The Customs duty on imported gold was raised on July 1 from 7.5% to 12.5%. However, since imported gold also attracts 2.5% Agriculture Infrastructure Development Cess, this took the total applicable import duty rate on gold into India to 15%.From where gold was smuggledVIP lounge gatewaySeized gold: 3.85 kgAmount: Rs2.02 croreTotal landings: 13 flightsTotal Gold: 50 kgDuty-free shopSeized gold: 8 kgAmount: Rs 4.21 croreTotal landings: ~20 flightsTotal gold: 160 kg

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The Indian Express | 18 hours ago | 28-09-2022 | 07:35 pm
The Indian Express
18 hours ago | 28-09-2022 | 07:35 pm

Chandigarh International Airport was Wednesday renamed Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport on the legendary freedom fighter’s birth anniversary.Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the plaque in a ceremony held at the airport.ਸੱਚੀਆਂ ਨੀਅਤਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਮੁਰਾਦਾਂ ਨੇ…ਸ਼ਹੀਦਾਂ ਦੀ ਧਰਤੀ ਤੋਂ ਸਹੁੰ ਚੁੱਕੀ ਸੀ…ਅੱਜ ਆਪਣੇ ਕੌਮਾਂਤਰੀ ਹਵਾਈ ਅੱਡੇ ਦਾ ਨਾਮ ਸ਼ਹੀਦ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੇ ਨਾਮ ‘ਤੇ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ…ਸ਼ਹੀਦ ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ ‘ਤੇ Research ਲਈ ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੇਵ ਯੂਨੀਵਰਸਿਟੀ, ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ ‘ਚ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਤਰਫੋਂ ਇੱਕ Chair ਵੀ ਸਥਾਪਿਤ ਕਰਾਂਗੇ…1/2 pic.twitter.com/brFgP07lXx— Bhagwant Mann (@BhagwantMann) September 28, 2022https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js“Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is reaching all corners of the country. Every time we see the faces of our worthy freedom fighters, their names on our public buildings, we remember the sacrifices done by their generations. We don’t take our freedom for granted,” Sitharaman said on the occasion.Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatreya and his Punjab counterpart Banwarilal Purohit expressed their delight on the occasion stating Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s “true devotion towards our Motherland will remain an inspiration forever”.Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways and Civil Aviation General (Retd.) V.K. Singh, who was also present on the occasion, said the naming of Chandigarh Airport after Bhagat Singh by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a prestigious moment for the nation.“Bhagat Singh is an inspiration for millions of youth of the country and this is a befitting tribute to his glorious memory,” he added.Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann thanked Prime Minister Modi and welcomed the decision of naming the Chandigarh Airport after Shaheed Bhagat Singh.Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala on his part said that the young generation should draw inspiration from Bhagat Singh’s sacrifice and established values.Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher was also among those present on the occasion.Chandigarh International Airport Limited is a joint venture of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in association with the governments of Punjab and HaryanaPresently, the airport is connected to Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kangra, Kolkata, Kullu, Leh, Lucknow, Mumbai, Patna, Pune and Srinagar in the country. Internationally, the city is connected to Dubai and Sharjah.The airport handled 17,936 international passengers and 2,271,233 domestic passengers in the year 2021-2022. In addition to this, the airport has also handled about 11000 MT of domestic air cargo in the financial year 2021-2022.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had during his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme on September 25 said that the Chandigarh airport will be named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh as a tribute to the great freedom fighter and the government’s promptness is visible in the fact that the same stands achieved within three days of the announcement.

Chandigarh International Airport named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh
Rahul Bose fumes about airlines on Twitter, accidentally tags woman with the same name
The Indian Express | 1 day ago | 27-09-2022 | 05:35 pm
The Indian Express
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Actor Rahul Bose took to Twitter and expressed his fury at Vistara airlines. However, he accidentally tagged a woman of the same name, who later modified her bio and added ‘Not an airline’. Rahul shared his disappointing experiences on the micro-blogging site, saying that he was not able to find lounge access at the Ahmedabad airport, and complained about tasteless food.Rahul wrote, “Apathetic ground staff, no lounge access for business class passengers, delayed boarding, food that looked intriguing but was deceptively inedible, mask protocol moody at best. Have flown @vistara four times this week. Erratic on all metrics. Today’s #UK956 Ahd-Bom case in point.” He accidentally tagged a woman instead of Vistara airlines. Her bio now says, ‘Not an airline’.A representative from the airline responded, “Hi Mr. Bose, we are concerned to note your agony. We regret that currently, we do not have a lounge tie-up at Ahmedabad airport. We are constantly working on making necessary enhancements. With regard to other concerns, we request some time to check with our team. Please allow us time till we get back. Your patience in the interim will be highly appreciated. Thanks, Aishwarya.”Apathetic ground staff, no lounge access for business class passengers, delayed boarding, food that looked intriguing but was deceptively inedible, mask protocol moody at best. Have flown @vistara four times this week. Erratic on all metrics. Today’s #UK956 Ahd-Bom case in point.— Rahul Bose (@RahulBose1) September 26, 2022However, Rahul was in no mood to be placated and continued, “You clearly don’t regret it because the ground staff person (I don’t want to mention names) casually, almost bored, without a hint of embarrassment (you have to hand it to her for sheer chutzpah), said there was no lounge facility for Business Class passengers. Zero apology!”Rahul Bose had visited Ahmedabad to meet the teams before the rugby tournament at the 2022 National Games of India. On the work front, he was last seen in Eternally Confused and Eager for Love. He will now be seen next in the film, Salaam Venky.

Rahul Bose fumes about airlines on Twitter, accidentally tags woman with the same name
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Ahmedabad Mirror | 4 days ago | 25-09-2022 | 06:00 am
Ahmedabad Mirror
4 days ago | 25-09-2022 | 06:00 am

Preparations for the upcoming defence expo, to be held at Gandhinagar from October 18 to 22, have started.The Ministry of Civil Defence and the Ministry of Civil Aviation have declared the airspace of Ahmedabad airport as a ‘no-fly zone’ for two hours in the evening from October 13 to 22.The ministries have declared NOTAM (notice to airmen) for the air show of fighter planes that will be the main attraction.The NOTAM at the airport will last for a total of 10 days. It will start on October 13 and end on October 22 and last for two hours, between 4.25pm and 6.10pm. During the two hours of NOTAM, in the evening, the arrival and departure of any plane within 30km radius of Ahmedabad Airport and up to 20,000-feet height will be halted.This proposed change will affect the schedule of some passenger flights arriving at Ahmedabad airport, which will result in disruption of flight timings. As per sources close to the development, “Many countries of the world and companies producing defence equipment and war weapons are participating in the expo. Fighter planes from these countries will be brought to the Ahmedabad airport.”The biggest attraction of the defence expo will be the air show by the fighter planes. India’s most advanced fighter planes and helicopters will also be part of the show.According to sources, the country’s Tejas and Sukhoi, as well as Chinook and Rudra helicopters will also be shown.

Airport to be ‘no-fly’ zone for 2 hrs from Oct 13 to 22
7 flights hover over city awaiting nod to land
Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 week ago | 19-09-2022 | 06:00 am
Ahmedabad Mirror
1 week ago | 19-09-2022 | 06:00 am

Heavy air traffic at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport on Sunday morning resulted in seven flights that were to land at the airport being unable to do so. They thus had to hover above the airport for some time before being allowed to land.Airline sources said the ongoing construction of the taxiway on the runway was also affecting airline operations. Sources said the aircraft traffic is heavy at the airport on weekends with a flight being cleared for take-off or landing every 10 to 15minutes.Flight congestion took place on Sunday morningOn Sunday morning for an hour between 7.30 AM to 8.30 AM, the Air Traffic Control (ATC) gave clearance for take-off to an aircraft every 10 minutes. Since the runway had a lot of congestion for flights that were to take off, a clearance could not be given to those that wanted to land.This resulted in seven flights of airlines like Indigo, Vistara and Emeritus having to hover over the airport during different periods.Apart from this, sources said, the ongoing construction work of the taxiway on the runway also results in repeated flight delays.Delays burn ATF, escalate costs for airlinesA source said that when a flight has to hover above the airport waiting to get permission to land it results in wastage of air turbine fuel which adds to the overall expense of an airline.Seven flights that were impacted• Mumbai-Ahmedabad (Indigo)• Kolkata-Ahmedabad, (Indigo)• Hyderabad-Ahmedabad, (Indigo)• Delhi-Ahmedabad, (Indigo)• Mumbai-Ahmedabad,(Vistara)• Delhi-Ahmedabad, (Vistara)• Dubai-Ahmedabad,(Emirates)

7 flights hover over city awaiting nod to land