Mumbai: The Mumbai customs intercepted two passengers arriving at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) carrying gold worth Rs 1.15 crore on Friday. According to the customs, the passengers arrived from Dubai. Upon a thorough check, they found the gold concealed in a bottle. The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) found two gold bars weighing one kilogram each, a crude gold chain and a bangle. “The total gold weighed 2545 grams and valued at Rs 1.15 crore,” the agency said.
The recovered gold was seized under the reasonable belief that the same was attempted to be smuggled in India and hence liable for confiscation under the provisions of the Customs Act.
AIU investigations revealed that places from where gold has been mostly smuggled into the country in the past are Dubai, Bangkok and Singapore apart from others such as Colombo, Muscat, Kuwait, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong and Madagascar.
AIU sources stated that they resort to passenger profiling in order to detect cases of gold smuggling. Suspicious passengers are frisked and checked. In order to detect more cases of smuggling, the AIU even quizzes suspects for their purpose of visit and if there are inconclusive replies, they resort to checks.
The rise in gold prices have spurt up the demand. As demand is high and social distancing being the new normal at airports, smugglers are trying to take advantage of the situation.
The latest seizure of gold bars comes after a string of cases in which the agency has been seizing gold dust which comes in liquid form. The customs recently intercepted three passengers carrying 2175 grams of gold dust, valued at ₹90.57 lakh. This is the highest seizure in the past few days in which the agency has detected similar cases.