'Kasargod gangs' gold smuggling tricks fox customs

Multiple gangs from Kasargod, Kerala, are hovering over country’s airports with their new innovative bullion smuggling skills, baffling the customs officials across the nation.

They are lining their trolley bags with silver and golden wires, which can be separated and sold. Apart from Dubai, Bangkok and Singapore, the smugglers are bringing in gold from Australia as well.

Recently, customs officials at the Rajiv Gandhi International (RGI) Airport here at Shamshabad nabbed two smugglers from Kasargod, who arrived here from Dubai with the yellow metal deftly concealed in their baggage.

On February 10, the customs sleuths intercepted Abdul Rahiman, who arrived from Dubai on an Emirates flight. When his trolley bag was scanned, bright wires were visible in its lining. On closer examination, customs officials were shocked to find that the wires were not made of iron, but gold coated with aluminum. The weight of the gold was 400 grams and its value was pegged at Rs 12 lakh.

The airport officials realised that the suspect Rahiman had made several trips to Dubai in the recent past from various airports in the country. The bullion smuggler had left India via Pune in first week of February and after collecting the ‘gold bag’, he arrived in Hyderabad within a day.

On the same day, customs sleuths also nabbed Beira Sulaiman of Kasargod, who arrived from Dubai by an Air India flight. Sleuths found a dark metal frame fitted to the body of his trolley bag. As they were unable to identify the metal, they seized the frame and asked Sulaiman to appear before them on a later day.

After running the frame through several tests such as spectrum analysis, it was found that the frame was gold and the rest was copper. The value of the gold was estimated as Rs 25 lakh. Unaware of the results of the tests, Sulaiman appeared before the customs officials to collect the metal frame and was arrested.

In a similar incident, one Kasargod man was arrested at the Jaipur Airport as he was carrying the same brand of trolley bag fitted with a gold metal frame. The modus operandi was similar as he was returning from Dubai after a short visit. The intelligence wing of the Indian customs service say that the bags with gold lining or the trolley rods made out of gold and copper are made by certain smuggling groups in Dubai due to the high demand for gold in Kerala.

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