A man coming from Dubai was arrested with 1.08 kg gold worth Rs 26 lakh hidden inside a microwave at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA).
The gold was disguised as transformers in the microwave.
“Passengers from Dubai are always on the radar and based on specific intelligence, this passenger was stopped after he crossed the green channel. Nothing objectionable was found on his person or his baggage but he couldn’t give a convincing reason for his travel to Dubai. He had a package that he claimed was a microwave. We had it scanned under an X-ray scanner. The scan gave us a few clues and we discovered the gold,” said a customs official.
Officials said the passenger had gone to Dubai previously too for short durations. “This was his third visit and passengers going regularly for short visits are always on our radar. During interrogation, he claimed that he had gone to meet a relative of his but was unable to give us the name of the relative. After scanning his package, the microwave was opened and gold-plated transformers were discovered,” the official added.
Customs officials said that this was the first time that they had encountered such an improvisation.
Last year, in June, a passenger trying to smuggle gold in form of stapler pins was arrested. Over 750gms of gold worth `20 lakh was recovered from him.
The customs department took the incident as a case study into how smugglers were trying to hoodwink customs into getting gold into the country. The agency had issued circulars alerting fellow officials of the changing modus operandi of smugglers.
“It was the efficiency of our officers that we managed to detect gold in form of pins and inside microwave,” the official added.