Sameer Mohammed, a resident of Kasargod, arrived at the airport by Air India Express flight from Dubai at around 10 pm and two gold bars weighing one kilo each were also seized from him. The gold is altogether worth about Rs 51 lakh, the authorities said.
Before going through security check, Sameer went to the toilet of the airport and placed the package in the dustbin. The DRI officials, who had received prior information about the method of smuggling, kept a watch and caught him red-handed, they said.
On questioning, Sameer said that he was directed by someone to place the gold bars in the dustbin from where it would be collected by an accomplice. He said that he did not know who was supposed to collect the package.
Officials are not ruling out the possibility of the involvement of airport staff as it happened inside the premises. It is the first time such a case has been reported at Mangalore airport, sources said.
Sameer was arrested and further investigations are on.