Mumbai airport officials foil gold smuggling bids in toothpaste tubes and jeans
The three were not arrested as each of the seized items was less than Rs20 lakh. Sources said the accused are at times carriers who are paid a commission by smugglers.mumbai Updated: Jul 25, 2017 00:58 IST
Officials of the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) found flyers smuggling gold in toothpaste tubes, embroidered in fabrics and stitched into jeans pockets this weekend.
In separate cases, authorities intercepted three people, including a Dubai-based salesman, and seized gold collectively worth Rs36.12 lakh.
Altaf Husain Gulam Shabbir, holding an Indian passport, was intercepted on his arrival from Dubai. “We recovered four gold chains worth at Rs7 lakh after searching Shabbir’s baggage. The jewellery was hidden in four tubes of toothpaste,” said a high-ranking AIU officer.
In another case, Kandathil Mohamed Rafi, 26, holding an Indian passport, arrived from Dubai when he was intercepted.
A search of his checked-in baggage found gold wires coated with copper weighing 587 grams worth Rs17.32 lakh. They wires were stitched into embroidered fabrics. Investigations revealed that Rafi is a native of Kasaragod in Kerala and works as salesman in Dubai.
Faisal Farukhbhai Paliwala, 29, an Ahmedabad resident, was stopped and checked on suspicion. The searches revealed that Paliwala was carrying four gold bars worth Rs11.80 lakh which were concealed in pockets stitched inside the waistband of the jeans he was wearing.
The three were not arrested as each of the seized items was less than Rs20 lakh.
Suspicious flyers at the busy international airport are checked based on passenger profiling but smugglers look for innovative methods to dodge the authorities.
Sources said the accused are at times carriers who are paid a commission by smugglers.
The carriers, who are mostly lured by easy money, are told that the hidden goods will not be detected.