Mumbai: The Mumbai customs intercepted a female passenger arriving from Dubai on Sunday using a unique modus operandi to smuggle gold via chocolate boxes.
“A woman passenger was intercepted which resulted in recovery of 24 karat gold foils, weighing 481 grams in all valued at Rs 21 lakh,” said a senior customs officer. Investigations revealed that the foils were concealed in cardboard boxes of chocolates. Smugglers keep finding newer ways to hoodwink the authorities at the airport and this method is the latest in a string of hidden-gold hijinks at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA).
The agency will investigate the source of the gold and if similar smuggling attempts were made in the past. The gold was seized under the reasonable belief that the same was smuggled into India without payment of customs duty in contravention to provisions of The Customs Act, 1962.
Smugglers conceal the metal in their footwear, mobile phones, suitcases, undergarments, clothes and even their rectums. Sources stated that some passengers deliberately avoid paying customs duty while bringing gold from abroad as payment of the duty will offset the cost advantage as gold is cheaper in some other countries. The agency has been taking actions for possession, carriage, concealment, recovery and smuggling gold into India without payment of proper customs duty and in contravention of the provisions of The Customs Act.