Gold being smuggled into Mumbai in compound form for better concealment | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Gold being smuggled into Mumbai in compound form for better concealment

Apr 17, 2024 09:20 AM IST

International gold smugglers are increasingly concealing compound gold in various forms to evade detection, including in undergarments and body orifices.

MUMBAI: International gold trafficking syndicates are smuggling the yellow metal in compound form increasingly to enhance concealment and escape detection by law enforcement agencies. Recent seizures by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in Mumbai show that carriers are concealing compounded gold in their undergarments or sanitary pads, while carrying consignments in body orifices is still new, agency sources said.

 International gold trafficking syndicates are smuggling the yellow metal in compound form. (File Photo)
International gold trafficking syndicates are smuggling the yellow metal in compound form. (File Photo)

Gold smuggling in the compound form entails converting the valuable metal either into paste or powder using chemicals; the compounded gold is then transported by carriers who conceal it in their baggage or on their body, inside shoes or wound over their chest, waist, forearms and legs, said agency sources.

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“Of late, we have noticed carriers have largely shifted to smuggling gold in compound form. Detecting such consignments via scanners is a comparatively bigger challenge than detecting gold smuggled in the form of bars,” said an agency official. Sometimes, gold pouches are concealed in undergarments and sanitary pads of adult passengers or diapers of children as well, the source added.

For instance, on January 16, DRI’s Mumbai zonal unit seized four kilograms of compounded gold worth 2.58 crore at the Mumbai airport. Based on a tip-off, the DRI team intercepted two passengers on arrival from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, who were carrying 1 kilogram of gold dust in wax form stitched into their innerwear. Further, during baggage search, the agency found gold pieces concealed inside three mixer grinders. DRI subsequently nabbed the two passengers as well as two intended receivers under the Customs Act, 1962.

Also in January, the agency seized around 5.6 kilograms of allegedly smuggled gold in paste form from a passenger at the Pune international airport. The gold paste was found concealed in a waist belt carried by the passenger, said sources.

Newer modalities being adopted for gold smuggling include use of trained persons who carry capsules of gold inside their body orifices, said source. “As revealed by these carriers, the syndicates use sophisticated technologies including metal detectors and X-ray machines to check the efficacy of concealment before the passenger is dispatched from foreign destinations to India,” an official said.

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