Air India pilot arrested with gold bars worth Rs 16 Lakh at Mumbai Airport

Mumbai: A senior pilot of Air India was booked by airport Customs on Wednesday for allegedly smuggling gold bars worth Rs 16 lakh.

Vijay Pratap, 45, kept around 600 grams of gold bars inside his check-in and hand baggage. He had piloted Jeddah to Mumbai Air India flight and landed at CST international airport on early on Wednesday.

An official of the Air Intelligence Unit of the Customs department said. “He has admitted to possession, carriage and concealment of bars which were being smuggled into India.”

Pratap who was working with Air India since 20 years and his present monthly salary is Rs 5.5 lakh later released on bail after detailed interrogation and investigating his other links.

During interrogation he told the officials that someone in Jeddah had given him a dry fruits packet with request to give it to his relative in Mumbai. The gokd bars were hidden in the dry fruit packet.

He also said then that he was unaware about the gold. An officer said.”We didn’t believe in his story. We kept his phone with us, but no one called him to collect the parcel. He tried to mislead us with the help of a fake story. We got some other clues in the case and inquiring about it.”

All air crew have been subjected to routine checks recently, said officials.