Indians have for centuries been obsessed with gold and as such smuggling this precious metal is spreading like wild fires. So, when it comes to sneaking gold into the country, Gold traders in India are now probably getting more and more innovative. This has increased after facing with heavy custom duty on gold imports by the government. Most of the traders are believed to be sneaking in gold through unexpected mediums.
These days, women are used to smuggle gold in the country. The smugglers chose the easiest and safest way of smuggling in gold that is in the form of jewellery.
The official said, “The smugglers started using women as carriers. We started noticing passengers, especially women, wearing too much jewellery. But we can’t check every passenger and many of them still manage to clear the Customs,” reports Hindustan Times. Most recently, airport officials nabbed a woman who was traveling from Dubai to Delhi in Spice Jet flight at IGIT airport. Around 900 grams of gold was recovered from her underwear whose worth is 25.02 lakh in the international market.
Body Parts Deployed
Did you ever wonder that body parts too are deployed for smuggling gold? Yes, it is definitely used.
From travelers loaded head-to-toe in jewelry to passengers who conceal carbon-wrapped gold pieces in their bodies, such method is one of the unique ways how this yellow metal are smuggled in the country. In 2013, a man, traveling from Air India flight from Dubai to Kerala was nabbed by custom officials at Kokijhod airport of Kerala for hiding 800 grams of gold in his colon. As per the official report, the seized gold was worth 25 lakh.
A flower vase
Customs officials have discovered hidden gold in the most unlikely places like a simple flower vase. This was brought by a passenger from the Gulf and turned out to have four sheets of gold weighing a little less than a kilogram hidden inside. Searching for hidden gold among the luggage of hundreds of passengers is akin to hunting for a needle in a haystack, said the Customs officials.
Gold loaded cartons
Just some weeks back, Customs officials stumbled upon yet another innovative smuggler. He tried to smuggle in gold in the form of pins stapled on cartons. The incident has now made the Customs department more vigilant and they are now treating this latest episode as a case study.
In one of the instances, gold weighing 440 gm worth 11 lakh was found hidden under a carton carried by Abdul Mohammed and another flyer Shaikh Tahoor had stashed 3 gold bars inside his socks and 4 bars inside his cell phone battery pocket. The gold carried by Tahoor weighed 816gm valued at 20.51 lakh, said the Customs officials. Abdul Sattar aroused the suspicion of customs officers at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. The three cardboard boxes that he had brought along had an unusually high number of stapler pins. Though they were painted grey, it took the officers little time to realize they were made of gold. Weighing 6 grams each, the pins were 754 grams of gold, worth 20 lakh.
Recently, the customs officers seized around 8 kg gold worth 1.9 crores from as many as 10 passengers who were aboard the Singapore-Chennai-Mumbai Air India flight. In another instance, gold biscuits were found hidden inside a consignment of mobile phones at the NSCBI airport in Kolkata.
And also the 40 Battalion of the Border Security Force (BSF) confiscated 2.8 kg of the precious metal hidden inside the tyres of a bicycle. The haul was valued at over 82 lakh.
“Gold and narcotics operate as two different syndicates but gold smuggling has become more profitable and fashionable,” said Kiran Kumar Karlapu, an official at Mumbai’s Air Intelligence Unit. He further added, “There has been a several-fold increase in gold smuggling this year after restrictions from the government, which has left narcotics behind,” reports Hindu.