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Canadian cricketer among four held for smuggling gold

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 12/06/2019

a view of a tiled wall © Provided by Hindustan Times Four people, including a 22-year-old Canadian cricketer, were arrested from New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport for allegedly trying to smuggle 5.2 kilos of gold worth R 1.7 crore on Saturday.

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Officers said that the arrested suspects were members of a family that owns a jewellery shop in Ludhiana, Punjab and had landed at the Delhi airport from Bangkok. The cricketer’s father admitted to having smuggled in similar quantity of gold earlier, customs officials said.

Officials said the cricketer, Mamik Luthra, an all rounder, had played the U-19 World Cup for Canada held in Bangladesh in 2016.

While Luthra holds a Canadian citizenship, his parents and aunt hold Indian passports and are citizens of India, officials said.

Also see: Cricket World Cup legends: Then and now

According to customs officers, the four passengers — the cricketer, his parents and his mother’s sister — landed at Delhi airport from Bangkok and were intercepted after they had crossed the green channel at Terminal three during the early hours of Saturday.

“We approached the four passengers, following a tip off. They were asked to cooperate for a detailed baggage check. When their baggage was put under X-Ray scanner, something suspicious was spotted. On checking manually, we found five gold bars weighing one kg each and a cut piece of 218 grams of gold,” said a customs officer.

The officer said the recovered gold is worth Rs 1.71 crore. During questioning, the cricketer’s father, 57-year-old Rakesh Luthra, said that he and his wife had earlier sneaked in 5.4 kilos of gold illegally worth R 1.72 crore, the officer said.

Anubha Sinha, joint commissioner customs, IGI airport, said all four passengers were arrested and the recovered gold seized.

Another officer said the four passengers were produced before a magistrate and were refused bail.

They were sent to judicial custody, the officer said.

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