Customs officials at KIA seize gold worth Rs 62L

Customs officials at the KIA arrested three people, including a couple, in two separate cases and seized 1.873 kg of gold on March 12 and 13

Customs officials at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) arrested three people, including a couple, in two separate cases and seized 1.873 kg of gold worth Rs 62 lakh on March 12 and 13.

In the first case, customs arrested Kailash Chand (53) and Premlatha Kailash Chand (48) for trying to smuggle gold in a unique way. 

According to officials, the couple, who landed in Bengaluru on a flight from Dubai, were intercepted on the basis of profiling.

During inspection, customs officials found Premlatha wearing two crude gold bangles and a pair of anklets with a rhodium/mercury coating concealed beneath her socks.

Her husband, Chand, was wearing a belt with a buckle made of crude gold and covered with the same coating. Another pair of crude bangles, a belt and a crude gold buckle with a similar coating were found inside their checked-in luggage, officials said. The crude gold weighing 1308.23 gm has been valued at Rs 43 lakh.

According to customs officials, applying rhodium/mercury coating to gold to deceive customs is a new kind of modus operandi.

Senior officials said there were two reasons for coating crude gold with rhodium/mercury.

“Gold when passing through the scanner looks black on the screen. When the gold is coated with rhodium/mercury, the black colour is distorted, making officials assume that it is something else,” said a senior customs official.

“If the gold is coated with rhodium/mercury, and since mercury is a liquid metal, even the metal detectors’ beeps will be feeble, misleading the official,” the official said, adding rhodium is more expensive than gold.

Gold biscuits

In the second case, Mohammed Aamir, who is in his early 30s and from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, was held by officials based on profiling when he arrived at KIA from Riyadh. Upon examination, his checked-in baggage contained gold biscuits concealed in two door locks. The smuggled gold weighed 565 gm and was valued at
Rs 18.7 lakh.

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Customs officials at KIA seize gold worth Rs 62L

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