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Patiala man lands from Dubai wearing Rs 30 lakh gold, caught

The trader was wearing a 700-gm gold chain and 233-gm bracelet and was also carrying 116-gm gold biscuit and 10-gm gold coin in his wallet.

punjab Updated: Jan 13, 2018 12:43 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Patiala,airport,Gold airport
(For Representation )

Wearing too much gold while landing at the airport can land you in trouble.

A Patiala-based trader arrived from Dubai wearing a 700-gram gold chain and 233-gram bracelet on Saturday. He was also carrying 116-gram gold biscuit and 10-gram gold coin in his wallet. In all, the gold was worth ₹30 lakh.

But he made one mistake. He displayed too much nervousness while crossing the green channel after the Dubai flight landed at the Chandigarh airport at 10:35 am. He was caught at the baggage area.

A customs official said they keep vigil on all international passengers, and those landing from Dubai are their prime focus as it has become a favourite source of gold smuggling ever since the flight began in September 2016.

“On Saturday as the Dubai plane landed with nearly 180 passengers, we saw a passenger passing the green channel anxiously while moving to the baggage area to collect his luggage,” said an official.

After his questioning, the officials found 700-gram gold chain around his neck that was hidden inside the layers of his winter clothes. The bracelet on his right wrist and other gold was also recovered.

“The accused, aged 34, is a trader in Patiala. He could earn at least ₹5 lakh profit by selling the gold, which is pure 24 carat,” said the official.

What the rules say

Under the customs rules, a woman passenger is allowed to carry 40 grams of gold while a man can carry 20 grams without paying any duty if they have stayed abroad for more six months. For other travellers, there is no exemption.

A customs official said as the market value of gold being carried by the Patiala man was beyond ₹20 lakh, he was arrested and later released on bail. His case will now be sent to the court of zonal commissioner in Ludhiana.

“The accused will be sent notice before the commissioner decides his case. He has the power to confiscate the gold permanently and impose penalty too, which happens in most smuggling cases,” he said.

First Published: Jan 13, 2018 10:22 IST