Smugglers are using innovative ideas, like concealing gold in microwave ovens, toys and toffee boxes, to bring in the precious metal into the country. Customs officials at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport have seized five kgs of gold, worth about Rs 1.46 crore, being smuggled into the country in the last three days. In one such case, officials seized 996 gms of gold concealed inside the boxes of wafers, toys and confectionery items like toffees, a senior customs official said. “The concealment was such that it made almost difficult for X-ray scanning machines to detect the gold,” he said. A 50-year-old passenger, who had come from Dubai, has been arrested in this case, the official said. “The gold was concealed in foil-form (gold foils) inside the toffee boxes being brought by him,” he said.
About 1.4 kgs of gold was seized from passengers in two separate cases. They had concealed the precious metal inside the microwave ovens and placed it tactfully near its coil (use to heat food items) to avoid the detection, the official said. In another case, customs officials seized 465 gms of gold, which was concealed in the handle of a trolley bag carried by the passenger. The passenger, in this case, had come from Muscat. “In all five kilogram of gold has been seized and two persons have been arrested in these cases,” he said. The customs officials at the IGI airport have registered more than 15 cases and seized 32 kgs of gold, valuing about Rs 10.27 crore, being smuggled into India from abroad during April and May this year. As many as 30 people have been arrested in these cases, the official said.
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During 2016-17 fiscal, about 240 cases of gold smuggling were reported at the airport. About 260 kgs of gold, valued at over Rs 76 crore (as per the current market rate), was seized by the customs in these cases. Nearly 355 cases of gold smuggling were reported during financial year 2015-2016. In which, the customs authorities seized 450 kgs of gold, valued at a whopping Rs 132 crore (as per prevailing market rates). About 190 people were arrested in these cases.