DRI ups security at Mumbai airports

Mumbai: Anticipating gold smuggling due to the fluctuating rates of late, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has beefed up security at the airport since the beginning of this year.

There has been a sharp increase in the number of gold seizures at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport over the first six months. According to sources, after back-to-back major gold seizures at the Mumbai international airport, the DRI stepped up security.

Giving an insight into the increased security details, a senior DRI official said, “Earlier if 10 suspicious passengers were frisked, now the number of frisking incidents has doubled.

Similarly, after the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), which is responsible for security at all Indian airports, had issued a detailed advisory revising and tightening the security norms to be followed, we too have fallen in line.”

A source at DRI said the extra vigilance was put after major gold and drug seizures made recently.

Some of the seizures included 796 grams of cocaine capsules worth Rs4.77 crore purged from the stomach of a Venezuelan national on August 9 and 32.28 kgs of smuggled gold bars, worth Rs10 crore from the domestic airport in Santacruz on June 10.

A senior DRI official said it is estimated that about 100 tonnes of gold has been smuggled into India every year for the past few years. Following the hike in customs duty, smuggling has peaked, said the official.

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