How a YouTuber Established a Base at Chennai Airport to Aid Gold Smugglers

Mohammed Sabir Ali, owner of Airhub at Chennai airport, allegedly operated as a front for a Sri Lankan gold smuggling syndicate.

He was unable to afford the Rs 70 lakh deposit for the lease, which was funded by a syndicate member based in Abu Dhabi.

Customs investigations revealed that Airhub facilitated the smuggling of 267 kg of gold worth Rs 167 crore over two months.

Vidvedaa PRG, the authorized concessionaire, terminated their agreement with Airhub upon discovering the smuggling activities.

Ali and his employees were recruited and trained by the syndicate to smuggle gold from transit passengers.

Despite lacking retail experience, Ali was approached through his YouTube channel (shoppingboyz) by the syndicate to front their operations.

The syndicate provided initial funding and strategic guidance for Ali to establish Airhub, which opened around February.

Customs authorities are investigating how Airhub employees obtained identity cards from BCAS, violating airport regulations.