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TelanganaPost pandemic spurt in gold smuggling

Post pandemic spurt in gold smuggling

Published: 17th Oct 2021 10:17 pm

Hyderabad: With the Covid-19 pandemic scare beginning to fade away, gold smugglers have once again turned active and are trying to smuggle in the precious yellow metal from Gulf countries to Hyderabad city from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Shamshabad.

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Smugglers seem to have reactivated their contacts and sneaking in gold from Gulf countries if the cases reported at the RGIA are any indication. However, this time around, the smugglers are adopting unique modus operandi (MO) after trying out a dozen techniques, from luring tourists to smuggle gold from Dubai to Hyderabad, hiding the yellow metal in electrical gadgets, socks, shoes, trolley bags and even in the rectum.

As customs officials foiled their attempts, the smugglers came up with yet another MO like hiding gold in face cream and chocolate boxes. They also attempted to smuggle gold by concealing it in tube-light chokes.

However, the customs officials at the RGIA succeeded in thwarting the attempts of smugglers based on inputs given by the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU). Sources said the smugglers were luring passengers and trying to get gold from Doha, Riyadh and Dubai to the city.

Constant surveillance maintained on passengers shuttling between Hyderabad and gulf countries was also helping the Customs Wing to nab passengers for attempting to get gold illegally. The behaviour of passengers inside the flight is also aiding the officials to zero in on the persons smuggling gold.

On October 8, the customs officials arrested a passenger, who arrived by 6E1714 flight from Doha for smuggling 528.2 grams of gold and 28 grams of silver, all worth Rs 20.44 lakh by concealing them in face cream boxes packed in checked-in baggage.

In order to divert the attention of officials, the passenger wrapped the gold in back paper and kept it in face cream boxes. Minutes after the passenger landed at the RGIA, officials checked the baggage and found the gold in face cream boxes.

Another passenger was nabbed at the airport on September 27 for allegedly bringing 763.660 grams of gold worth Rs 32.24 lakh. The passenger concealed the gold in cookie and chocolate boxes, officials said.

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