Illustrative image. Image Credit: ANI file

Dubai: Indian customs officials have charged 113 passengers on a Muscat-Chennai flight with smuggling goods valued at Dh6.18million (approximately OMR646,697).

The accused, making up a significant portion of the 186 passengers aboard the flight, were purportedly part of a sophisticated smuggling ring trafficking gold and high-value electronic devices.

The smuggling ring enticed unwitting passengers into participating in the illicit scheme by promising them commissions, alongside gifts of chocolates and perfumes.

Following a tip-off that more than a hundred passengers were smuggling a large amount of gold, iPhones, laptops, and saffron on the flight, the customs officials detained all the passengers and interrogated them for hours.

One of the passengers accepted that a phone was handed over to him by a co-passenger on the flight, promising commission, chocolates, and goodies upon return of the phone in Chennai airport.

After enquiries 73 people were let off. The police later searched the other 113 passengers and found they were hiding gold nuggets and gold bracelets inside their underwear. On checking their suitcases and bags, there were many secret compartments in which 13kg of gold, 120 iPhones, 84 Android phones, foreign cigarettes and laptops were hidden.

Alongside the gold, a treasure trove of electronic gadgets was found within luggage and personal bags.

This hidden stash comprised 120 iPhones and 84 android phones, as well as laptops.

All 113 implicated passengers were subsequently released on bail.