Thai couple caught sneaking in gold worth Rs 27 lakh at Chandigarh airport
The duo, both in their late 50s, were caught when they were crossing the green channel after landing at the airport on the Air India’s Bangkok flight.punjab Updated: Mar 19, 2018 22:40 IST
In the first case of foreign nationals caught trying to smuggle in gold through Chandigarh International Airport, customs officials on Monday nabbed two Thailand residents, including a woman, with 877-gram gold worth Rs 27 lakh.
The duo, both in their late 50s, were caught when they were crossing the green channel after landing here on the Air India’s Bangkok flight.
When asked if they were carrying any restricted item, they denied it. However, the X-ray of woman’s baggage revealed something fishy, said an official not wishing to be named.
On checking, the officials found gold concealed in buttons of eight shirts.
“In all, 192 nickel-coated ringlets weighing 455 gram were recovered,” he said.
The search did not end there. The customs then searched the male passenger. A belt buckle, chain and a bangle, weighing 422 grams in gold were recovered.
The customs officials are trying to find the duo’s past history.
“The two said they are working on their own,” said an official. Their questioning was underway till late night.
Most of the gold recoveries made at the airport are from Dubai-returned passengers as the market value of gold is cheaper there. Probe revealed that Indian handlers based in Dubai are using people of the region for this smuggling racket. Body concealment has become a regular practice to sneak in gold. However, smugglers have also used other innovative ways, like using parts made of gold in electronic appliances.