Ten Afghan nationals, including nine women, were arrested at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) while trying to smuggle 38 kg of gold worth Rs 10 crore. The women were wearing the jewellery, police said.
Police said the group from Herat, Afghanistan, was stopped for a customs check. “Some of the women were wearing up to 8 kg of ornaments. Others had about 2-5 kg of jewellery on them,” a customs official said.
The total jewellery seized from the group added up to 38.43 kg worth Rs 10.6 crore. All of them were arrested under the Customs Act, police said.
Apart from this, a male passenger, who was also coming from Afghanistan, was arrested after he was found carrying gold bars. The limit for carrying gold was increased last year but only for Indian passengers who have stayed abroad for more than a year.
But since passengers are not allowed to carry even a gram of gold without declaring it, passengers wearing jewellery are often stopped by the customs department to pay duty. Last year, as many as 20 passengers were stopped and fined and few were even arrested for carrying gold jewellery without declaring it.
“If someone is going on a trip, he/she must mention the amount of jewellery he/she is carrying in the departure slip and get an export certificate from the customs. The person has to show this when he/she returns to India. If a passenger has not filled in details of jewellery in the departure slip, he/she will be under scrutiny,” the official said.