Two Chinese nationals have been arrested at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on charges of trying to smuggle 96 gold bars weighing about 11kg into the country today.
Ruan Jinfeng, 48, and Yonggang Zu, 45, were caught hours apart with the bars hidden inside portable lights at the airport’s green channel.
Ruan was caught around 8:00am and Yonggang around 9:00pm, customs and customs intelligence officials said.
After Ruan was caught in the morning, his friend Yonggang kept waiting at the transit area throughout the day, said Shahidul Islam, director general of customs intelligence.
As officials found his demeanour suspicious, they brought him to the green channel and scanned his luggage and found 48 gold bars.
The arrestees arrived at the airport on a flight of the Emirates from Dubai and took visa-on-arrival, said Shahidul.
Tipped-off, a customs team in the morning started following Ruan from the boarding bridge. While crossing the green channel, he told officials that he didn’t have any taxable goods in his possession.
“But the officials scanned his luggage and metal substances were spotted inside,” said Othello Chowdhury, customs deputy commissioner.
Unless there is prior information, it is quite difficult to detect gold bars when those are hidden inside something like a rechargeable light, officials said.
The bars seized today are worth over Tk 5 crore.
Two cases were filed against Ruan under Customs Act and Special Powers Act with Airport Police Station. Filing of cases against Yonggang are underway.
Two other Chinese men were caught at the airport for similar crimes just 10 days ago.
On March 13, Chen Jifa, 29, and Ding Shousheng, 35, were arrested while allegedly trying to smuggle 5.5kg of gold into the country. They were sent to jail.