Customs officials at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on the evening of August 30 stopped a man who had arrived from Dubai only to find out that he was smuggling 500 gm gold.
Customs officials at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on the evening of August 30 stopped a man who had arrived from Dubai only to find out that he was smuggling 500 gm gold. The customs officials at the airport had been warned in advance by the Customs Intelligence Unit about the possibility of gold smuggling by passengers traveling from Dubai. The case came to light when the accused was stopped by the officials after arriving from Dubai without declaring any valuables. According to a Hindustan Times report, when the customs officials looked inside the bag of the man who hails from Muzaffarnagar, they did not find anything unusual. The man just has a pen, a shirt, a harmonica, a pair of jeans, a purse and an umbrella.
While the officials suspected nothing when they looked inside the man’s bag, a closer look and a little scratching later revealed that the nib of the pen, the interior bits of the harmonica, the buttons of the shirt and jeans, the metallic rim of the purse and the skeleton of umbrella were all made of gold. In total, the man was carrying 500 grams of gold that is worth Rs13 lakh. While the officials have seized the gold from the passenger, he is said to be charged under the customs act. According to the act, the gold will be permanently confiscated and the man will have to pay an additional fine. A senior IGIA official while talking about the case said, “It was probably the most difficult case to crack,” as quoted by HT.
The senior official further said that 70% of recent smuggling cases at the airport had originated in flights from countries around the Persian Gulf. The report further stated that the gold jeans episode has shocked Delhi customs officials. They have alerted other staff at other airports to look out for gold in surprising places. An official while talking about the gold smuggling at IGIA said that it was one of the most popular technique in the 1980s and 90s. In recent times the gold smuggling has declined due to increased duties that has been placed on gold in India.