Hyderabad: A steep rise in the quantity of gold smuggled into the city from foreign countries has been seen at the Rajiv Gandhi international airport this year. At least 20 persons have been arrested by various law enforcement agencies including the Customs and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence since April for smuggling gold into the country.
In the 12 months from March last year, 86 cases were booked by Customs officials and 40.195 kg gold seized from air passengers who arrived at the RGI airport in Shamshabad.
Personnel arrested 20 Indian nationals and one foreign national for smuggling gold worth Rs 12.74 crore. In the last 130 days from April 1, Customs officials have caught 12 persons and the quantity of the gold seized is 33.26 kg of gold. Almost 80 per cent of the seizure that was done in the previous financial year.
Despite being caught by personnel frequently, smugglers do not seem to be affected and are resorting to new techniques to smuggle gold by concealing it in electronic goods and in the form of paste.
When contacted, an official associated with the Customs department said that though the number of cases registered was less, the quantity of the gold being smuggled was increasing.
The seizure of 9.21 kg gold by the AIU on August 10, was the highest in the recent past, and in another case, about 3.329 kg of gold was seized.
Responding to a query, the official stated, “Gold carried in any form is identified during scanning, but cannot be detected if the metal is in the form of a paste. Even thin wires made of gold can be identified during the checks and this is why the number of busts has increased. In the instances of gold paste, the passenger can only be identified by the profiling or a tip.”...