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Gold worth Rs 26 lakh seized from slippers of 2 fliers at Delhi’s IGI airport

Customs officials catch two people who hid 938 grams of gold worth Rs 26 lakh in their slippers at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport.

delhi Updated: Jan 19, 2017 08:54 IST
Delhi IGI airport,Delhi airport,T3
The two passengers who reached Delhi from Bangkok on a Thai Airways flight had hidden pieces of gold in their slippers.(Handout)

If you wear slippers to take a flight from the Delhi airport, chances are you may be stopped for additional checking.

On Wednesday, customs officials caught two passengers who hid gold pieces worth Rs 26 lakh in their slippers -- the fourth such incident. Three attempts were foiled last year. Customs officials are now extra careful while scanning slippers.

“The passengers reached Delhi from Bangkok on a Thai Airways flight were stopped for checking. A total of 118 cut pieces embedded in the false cavity of slippers were seized from them,” said a customs official. At least 938 grams of gold was seized.

From hiding gold in diapers to inside a papaya, smugglers tried all possible tricks to hoodwink customs officials last year.

According to customs, as they have increased the vigil, smugglers are trying every possible trick to smuggle gold into Delhi.

Read: Cheeky gold smuggler caught at Delhi airport

There have been cases of gold stitched into a bra, stuffed in the rod of a baby walker and tied on thigh guards and around the waist.

Against the 6.6 kilos of gold seized in 2012-13 financial year, the quantity seized in 2013-14 increased to 384 kilos, and reached an all-time high of 574 kilos in 2014-15.

The next year, the quantity seized fell.

However, in 2016, the department seized over 220 kilos of gold worth around Rs 60 crore.

Earlier, the most common form of smuggling was by hiding it in the shoe sole, officials claimed. “In the 80s and 90s, when gold smuggling was at its peak, several cases were reported of smugglers caught hiding gold bars in the shoe sole. The shoes were specially prepared for it. Later, bags were designed with false cavities where gold could be hidden to avoid detection,” the official added.

First Published: Jan 18, 2017 22:23 IST