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Spl detectors at IGIA to catch hidden gold

A spurt in number of cases of gold smuggling reported from the airport and the arrest of two persons who had concealed gold bars in body cavities has forced the Customs department to place metal detectors near the green channel. Faizan Haidar reports.

delhi Updated: Jul 02, 2013 01:06 IST
Faizan Haidar

Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) may see longer queues at the green channel now.

A spurt in number of cases of gold smuggling reported from the airport and the arrest of two persons who had concealed gold bars in body cavities has forced the Customs department to place metal detectors near the green channel. These detectors have been specially designed to detect metals hidden inside the body.

Suspects will be asked to remove metal objects from their body and walk through the Door Frame Metal Detectors (DFMDs) installed at the green channel. If the detector gives positive signals, the passenger will be taken to the hospital to check for gold bars in his/her body.

Currently, two DFMDs have been placed near the green channel at the arrival hall of Terminal 3. "This might inconvenience passengers but we had to take some measures to stop gold smuggling. Smugglers are taking innovative routes and it is difficult to nab a passenger who has concealed gold inside the body. These detectors will reduce cases of gold smuggling," an airport source said.

Last month, the Customs had detained a suspected passenger but despite sustained interrogation, he refused to accept that there were gold bars inside his body. When he was screened at the Safdarjung hospital, six gold bars were detected from his lower abdomen and were later removed.

According to officials, to conceal gold inside the body requires rigorous training. Officials said during training, smugglers conceal smaller items to get used to carrying bigger ones. The training is done in the presence of a doctor.

"Smugglers often wrap gold bars in cello tape. They also put nearly 250gm butter over it and then put it in the rectum. They are also advised not to eat anything during the journey," the officer added.

Customs official said that those detained at the airport are just carriers and are paid anywhere between Rs 20,000 and Rs 40,000 for every successful journey.