With two back to back cases of gold smuggling at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), the customs officials fear a spike in cases as some believe the ‘impact of demonetisation’ is over.
On Friday, gold worth Rs 60.88 lakh was recovered from a passenger coming from Dubai on an Emirates flight. The man had reportedly hidden the gold in an amplifier.
“Thirty-six gold metal strips coated with white materials, concealed in the transformer of an amplifier were recovered. One cylindrical gold metal was also recovered. It was hidden in the magnet of a speaker,” said a customs official.
Customs official said that cases of gold smuggling were on the decline after changes in the budget in the 2016-17 financial year. Post demonetisation it stopped for a while.
“The money flow has increased and we assume that smuggling will also increase. On Thursday too, a Malaysian national was held with gold worth Rs 66.92 lakh. The passenger was coming from Singapore and was a carrier,” the official said.
Over the past few months, customs have witnessed unique concealment techniques from use of diapers to papayas.
According to customs, as they have increased the vigil, smugglers are trying newer tricks to smuggle gold into Delhi. There have been cases of gold stitched in bra, stuffed in the rod of baby walker, tied on thigh guards and waist.
Against 6.6 kg seizure of gold in the 2012-13, the quantity of gold seized in 2013-14 increased to 384 kg and reached on all-time high in 2014-15 with customs officials seizing 574 kg gold. However, it started reducing after that but in 2016, the department seized over 220 kg gold valued at about Rs 60 crore.