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Gold smugglers trying new ways to walk past customs!

Recent catches by customs authorities at the Lucknow’s Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport have revealed that smugglers are using unique tricks to dodge law enforcement agencies at international airports.

lucknow Updated: Oct 13, 2017 13:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Gold smugglers,Custom officers,Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport
Abu Bakar was carrying around 2 kg gold worth ₹61 lakh. The yellow metal was concealed in the form of wiring inside a vacuum cleaner.(HT Photo)

Recent catches by customs authorities at the Lucknow’s Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport have revealed that smugglers are using unique tricks to dodge law enforcement agencies at international airports to bring gold from Gulf countries.

Catches by the custom
  • On Thursday, customs officials arrested a Bihar resident, Bhupendra Yadav who was carrying around 1.25 kg gold worth ₹40 lakh, when he reached Amausi airport in a flight from Abu Dhabi. He had concealed the gold in the form of metal strips of a trolley bag.
  • On October 7, a Delhi resident Gurmeet Singh was arrested at Lucknow for carrying around 1.25 kg gold worth ₹40 lakh. Coming from Abu Dhabi, he was concealing the gold in the form of small metal pieces polished as silver metal.

Customs officials arrested a Bihar resident, Bhupendra Yadav who was carrying around 1.25 kg gold worth ₹40 lakh, when he reached Amausi airport in a flight from Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

SK Sharma, commissioner of customs (preventive), UP and Uttarakhand, said Yadav was concealing the gold in the form of metal strips of a trolley bag. He was intercepted during checking of passengers and their baggage before exit from the airport.

Sharma said an arrest on Wednesday revealed another trick. A Barabanki resident, Abu Bakar, was arrested when his baggage was undergoing security check on his arrival at the airport in a flight from Dubai. Bakar was carrying around 2 kg gold worth ₹61 lakh. The yellow metal was concealed in the form of wiring inside a vacuum cleaner, added the officer.

He said smugglers often used such unique methods to conceal gold in their baggage. On October 7, a Delhi resident Gurmeet Singh was arrested at Lucknow for carrying around 1.25 kg gold worth ₹40 lakh. Coming from Abu Dhabi, he was concealing the gold in the form of small metal pieces polished as silver metal.

Another customs official said the two persons arrested on Wednesday and Thursday were suspected to be carriers of an international smuggling racket. He said the key operators often hired first-timers and offered them money to carry their gold hidden in baggage.

Abu Bakar was arrested when his baggage was undergoing security check on his arrival at Lucknow airport in a flight from Dubai. (HT Photo)

Sharma said several startling trends had emerged in 2013 and 2014 when the carriers concealed thin gold bars in their rectum after packing them in condoms. One Arun Kumar was arrested at Amausi airport on August 27, 2013 for concealing around 1.7 kg gold bars worth Rs 57 lakh inside his body using the same trick. Kumar later revealed that he was trained to conceal metal items in the rectum, added the official.

The official said, “In many cases, the smugglers mould buckles out of gold metal with mercury polish and use it in belts. In some cases, thin gold wires were smartly concealed in the form of beading in luggage bags. Some carriers concealed it in shoe soles while others in their special designed clothes.”

He said one carrier was caught with smuggled gold strips concealed as bathroom fittings and handles of LED lights on March 4, 2014.

First Published: Oct 13, 2017 13:51 IST