Hyderabad: Gold weighing over 6 kg and valued at Rs 2.17 crore was seized from 14 passengers who arrived here from a gulf nation after performing Umrah, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) said on Wednesday.
According to a DRI release, the gold was smuggled into the country on Tuesday by concealing "on person" and the accused did not have any documents to prove the legal import of the yellow metal.
The total weight of the foreign gold recovered and seized under Customs Act, 1962, is 6.46 kg worth around 2.17 crore, it said.
Explaining the modus operandi, the sleuths said the economically disadvantaged people who wanted to perform Umrah (pilgrimage) in Saudi Arabia were lured by agents, who sponsored their trip.
During the return journey, the passengers were asked to carry gold, which would be collected by someone on the instructions of the agents.
Gullible pilgrims were blackmailed by agents in Saudi Arabia with consequences of penalty or recovery of full charge of Umrah should they not act as per instructions.
The 14 passengers are residents of Hyderabad who had arrived by a Saudi Airlines Flight from Jeddah on July 2, the release said adding they were detained.