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Dubai smugglers targeting youngsters to sneak in gold

Two arrests in the past 48 hours show how smugglers operating in Dubai are trapping youngsters from the region and using them as couriers.

punjab Updated: Jul 04, 2018 14:59 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Smugglers,Dubai,Chandigarh International Airport
The couriers are often not even aware of their main handlers. (Biswajit Debnath/HT)

With the aim to make a quick buck, youngsters are falling prey to smugglers trying to sneak gold into India, via Chandigarh International Airport.

Two arrests in the past 48 hours show how smugglers operating in Dubai are trapping youngsters from the region and using them as couriers, say revenue intelligence and customs officials.

While a 20-year-old youth from Bathinda was involved in the Tuesday seizure, a 26-year-old woman graduate from Delhi was caught with 1.1kg gold on Monday.

Earlier, in March this year, a 23-year-old youth from Gurdaspur’s Batala was caught with1.5kg gold worth ₹47.2 lakh. In another case the same month,customs officials foiled a smuggling bid by apprehending two women, including a student, who were concealing 800-gram gold in their rectum.

‘FROM HUMBLE BACKGROUND’

A senior official of the directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) said in most cases, the arrested youngsters have a humble background and get involved in the crime tempted by a foreign holiday and some money.

“Their hotel stay and air tickets are sponsored. They stay in Dubai for several days and are trained before being sent back with the smuggled goods,” the official said.“They are even ready to risk their lives, as some agree to conceal gold in their rectum.”

However, probe into these cases often hit a wall as the couriers are not even aware of their main handlers.

An official said those caught don’t even know to whom they would be handing over the consignment on leaving the airport. “It is only after they come out, they are contacted by the middlemen,” he said.

First Published: Jul 04, 2018 13:58 IST