For representational purposesReuters/Leonhard Foege

Three central government officials and a Bengaluru-based businessman have been charged by the Central Bureau of Investigation for illegally smuggling gold. The accused include a GST official named Rajnish Kumar Saroh and two customs officials - Shiva Kumar Meena and Sudarshan Kumar. The businessman was identified as NT Jamsheer, who owns Bestway Supermarket.

They have been booked under section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code. If they are found guilty, they could face seven-year jail time. An additional charge was also filed under various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act.

They had procured gold from western Asia and smuggled it through the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, reports The Times of India. The report also states that they had been managing the racket for over a year.

The cover of the four men was blown when customs officials at KIA stopped six international smugglers carrying 11 kilograms of gold worth Rs 3.7 crore. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, through questioning the smugglers, discovered that they were just carriers and had to give the gold to the receivers in India.

How did the men commit the crime?

The gold was smuggled into India by carriers in paste form under their belts. The operation was going on from August 2017 to August 2018.

Jamsheer, who was said to operate the racket, had contacts of carriers in Dubai. He chose the carriers in such a way that no one suspected anything amiss. The details procured by Jamsheer from the carriers were sent to Saroh, who in turn sent them to Shiva Kumar Meena and Sudharashan Kumar, who were posted as customs officers at KIA.

Meena and Kumar would then check the list and the smugglers' credentials to make sure that there was nothing in there which would arouse any suspicion, states TOI. The smugglers would then pass through customs and give the material to the receivers in pre-planned areas outside the airport.

Jamsheer paid Rs 75,000 to Saroh to make sure that the smugglers faced no hassle while travelling. Saroh, in turn, paid Meena and Kumar Rs 25,000 each for their role.