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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Large stash of gold discovered in Qatar Airways plane bathroom

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Photo for illustrative purposes only
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

More than 7kg of gold was discovered in the toilet of a Qatar Airways plane on arrival in India earlier this week.

The jewelry was found inside a duty-free branded plastic bag after the aircraft landed at Goa airport on Wednesday, the Hindustan times reported.

The stash – which included over 600 chains, bangles and bracelets – had been hidden in a garbage bin in the rear left bathroom of the Airbus A320.

It is the second time in a week that customs officials in Goa have found large quantities of gold on board a Qatar Airways plane.

Some 2kg of gold bars were discovered hidden inside a life jacket pouch on an aircraft operating on the same route on April 24.

Smuggling route

K Anpazhakan, Commissioner of Customs in Goa, told the Goa Herald that customs officials found the jewelry after acting on an intelligence tip-off.

He added that they were used to dealing with gold smuggling operations in Goa:

“Earlier, it was mostly Air India’s flight AI-984 that was used by gold smugglers. As the airline operator closed down this flight’s operations in Goa, smugglers have now been using Qatar airways to smuggle gold,” the Goa Herald quoted him as saying.

He said that there was a “strong possibility” that airline staff or ground crew were involved in the smuggling operation.

Qatar Airways has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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