Mumbai Crime Watch:  Spike in 'Gold dust' smuggling at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, three intercepted
FPJ Photo

The string of smuggling cases detected at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) continued on Tuesday as the customs intercepted three passengers in possession of gold dust.

The customs intercepted three passengers carrying 2,175 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. Gold dust is difficult to trace in hand held detectors and scanners and hence smugglers are trying to sneak in the precious metal in its dust form. The recovered gold dust 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.

Sources revealed that the cases are detected as smugglers are trying to take advantage of the Covid-19 situation. “There are two reasons. The first one being that the smugglers have a false perception that they would carry gold in liquid form over solid to not get detected. Secondly, after the lull during lockdown, they are trying to cash-in reopening of flights,” a source said. “In most of the cases, the gold dust is concealed inside the body and it is the skill of the officers to detect it.”

On Tuesday, the Mumbai Airport customs seized 1,127 grams of wet gold dust, worth ₹44.29 lakh, concealed cleverly inside the body cavity of three intercepted Indian passengers who arrived from Dubai, the customs stated. Similarly on last Friday, one Indian passenger who arrived from Dubai was intercepted which resulted in recovery of wet gold dust, which was concealed in body cavity, weighing 676 grams and valued at Rs.27.06 lakh. The passenger was placed under arrest.

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