Customs officials at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport on Friday foiled three gold-smuggling attempts when they intercepted and arrested three flyers from Dubai, taking the number of foiled attempts this week to five. The officials said a total of 8,995g of gold, valued at Rs 4.73 crore, had been seized.
On Friday, gold weighing 4,895g and worth Rs 2.57 crore was seized from a passenger who was found carrying a cylindrical, silver-coated block of 24 kt gold inside an air compressor. He was questioned on the basis of specific inputs. In similar instances, two other flyers from Dubai were found carrying 24 gold bars inside their check-in baggage. The gold recovered from them weighed 2,800 g and was worth Rs 1.47 crore.
“Among the three arrested on Friday, two persons hail from Mahabubnagar and one from Mumbai. The Telangana duo are autorickshaw drivers who had gone to Dubai for driver jobs and were returning after losing their jobs. They do not know the details of those who gave them gold or those who were supposed to collect it from them. They just had to come out of the airport and wait,” an official told indianexpress.com.
On Wednesday, the officials seized gold weighing 865.6g, worth Rs. 46.05 lakh, that was being smuggled in by an Indian flyer who arrived from Bangkok. He was found to have concealed the gold in the form of a paste inside his rectum. Similarly, a female passenger was intercepted following a tip-off on the same day. Customs officials recovered 435g of gold in paste form concealed in her undergarments. The gold seized was valued at Rs 22.40 lakh.
“These two people were not arrested as the gold they were found smuggling was valued at less than Rs 50 lakh. We are probing further to find out the handlers and receivers in all the cases,” said the official, adding that gold smuggling had risen around Diwali over the past few years.