"We are keeping a close watch on passengers, especially on Chennai and Mumbai flights, moving out of the Bandaranaike International Airport," Sri Lanka Customs spokesman Leslie Gamini said.

He said local authorities have arrested several such smugglers to India in the recent past. The smugglers take advantage of the comparatively low prices of gold in Sri Lanka, Gamini added.

There has been a spike in illegal shipment of gold bars from Sri Lanka to India in recent times, he said.

The Indian Air Intelligence Unit of Customs on Sunday seized 10 kg of crude gold ornaments from 42 Sri Lankan nationals, consisting 28 women. Later in the evening, another
1.733 kg of gold was seized from another group of 14 Sri Lankan nationals, including women.

Both the groups had arrived from Sri Lanka and most of them were found to have frequently travelled to India from the island nation since September.


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