Gold smugglers now adopting novel methods
Smugglers are now adopting novel methods to conceal gold. A string of seizures by Customs officials at Pune airport from carriers of gold highlights this practice. Smugglers have changed their modus operandi and are smuggling gold in unusual ways like hiding it under a wig or even in the rectum.
Pune: Smugglers are now adopting novel methods to conceal gold. A string of seizures by Customs officials at Pune airport from carriers of gold highlights this practice. Smugglers have changed their modus operandi and are smuggling gold in unusual ways like hiding it under a wig or even in the rectum.
On May 7, officers of Customs nabbed a passenger who arrived from Dubai by an Air India flight for smuggling 957 gm gold in paste form worth Rs 31.13 lakh. Shehzad Baba Miya Momin, the accused, was carrying gold in a polythene bag concealed by means of a supporting black belt around his wig.
On May 13, Abdur Rahim Khateeb from Bhatkal, Karnataka was nabbed for concealing 511.31 gm gold worth Rs 16.71 lakh in his rectum.
“This is a new modus operandi. They are smuggling gold using chemicals, which can hide the properties of gold for seven to eight hours in any temperature. The gold is easily available in Dubai. They are mixing chemicals and gold powder to make a jelly and this is a new challenge for us,” said a senior officer of Customs on condition of anonymity.
He added, “We identify these smugglers by the way they stand while passing through the green channel.”
The officer further said, “We start following them the moment they alight from the plane. They always try to escape checking as they get identified due their way of talking, walking and some unusual actions. Shehzad used a wig which was unusual and was suspected for his hair style, as his hair mass looked bigger than normal. Khateeb was not walking like a normal person. Whatever modus operandi they use. we will nab them as we have the latest technology.”
Gold is easily available in Dubai and the seller can provide gold as per the requirement of customers. The difference in price of gold from Dubai to India is almost 10 to 15 per cent. If a passenger purchases gold weighing 1 kg it means the market value in India is over Rs 25 lakh.
Sometimes money is offered to carriers to take illegal consignments, ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000. The ‘carriers’ get caught while the kingpin remains safe. Most of the seized gold has been in small quantities and arrest is made only if the value exceeds Rs 20 lakh.