Airport customs made record gold seizure year

Airport customs made record gold seizure year

The customs sleuths at the Kempegowda International Airport have made a record seizure of 100 kg of gold, valued at Rs 30.5 crore, during 2017-18. This is a nearly 200% increase from the gold seized during 2016-17.

This year, 34 people have been arrested in this regard, including Jordanian and Sri Lankan nationals. Around 34.5 kg of gold was seized in 2016-17, which was valued at nearly Rs 10 crore, with fewer arrests.

The sleuths said that various modus operandi were adopted by passengers for smuggling gold such as rectum concealment, gold biscuits in fruit juicer/mixers, gold pieces in women's hair clips and in gas stoves, concealment of gold wires in the beading of trolley bags, concealment of gold beads in embroidery of dress material, and concealment by way of silver colour-coated gold ornaments, among others.

Of all these, a clever ploy detected and busted by the airport customs was concealment of gold foils between layers of corrugated boxes. The sides of the boxes containing toys had gold foils pasted between layers of papers wrapped in carbon sheets for insulation.

About 1 kg gold was recovered from these types of boxes from passengers coming from Dubai.

"Another interesting modus in the recent months was that of mixing gold powder with soil or other materials in a paste form and concealing the mixture in pouches tied around the waist or other body parts, faking injuries. Around six such cases were detected by airport customs in the recent past," said Harsh Vardhan Umre, additional commissioner of customs, Kempegowda International Airport.

A major seizure was that of 33.5 kg gold in the guise of a courier. The gold was concealed in fuel pumps and air filters of automobiles in consignments that originated from Dubai.

"The gold was colour coated and greased to avoid detection. In most of the cases, the consignments originated from West Asia, followed by Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia," Umre added.

 

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