Gold smugglers take it ‘below the belt’ to doge detectors | Indore News – Times of India

INDORE: Instances of gold smuggling by carriers through air routes have seen a jump in the past six months, as smugglers are getting innovative in trying to dodge detectors at airports.
Hiding smuggled gold in soaps, shoes, bags, and chocolates is now an outdated option. Concealing gold in the form of paste, granules, or capsules in the private parts of carriers, undergarments, and electronic items is an increasing trend, as caught by Customs officials at Devi Ahilyabai Holkar International Airport.
On Sunday, the Customs department seized 626 grams of gold worth Rs 34 lakh, concealed in capsules and hidden in a carrier’s rectum, one of the many seizures at Indore airport.
Recent interceptions by the Customs department have shown that ‘elderly’ and ‘sophisticated individuals’ are getting involved in smuggling gold, mostly from Dubai to Indore via air route.
The Air Intelligence Unit of the Customs department at Indore airport has seized approximately three kg of gold having a market value of Rs 1.70 crore, along with iPhones and foreign-made cigarettes, from October last year to the first week of January this year. The department also intercepted and seized smuggled gold from eight individuals flying from Dubai to Indore in the past three months.
“Cases of gold smuggling usually go up ahead of the festival season, but the last six months have been exceptional due to back-to-back seizures. High gold prices in the domestic market, high import duty, and a margin of around 10 percent in illegal gold are a few reasons why gold smuggling has increased,” said Sameer Chitkara, Customs Commissioner of Indore.
The Central government levies a custom duty of 15 percent and 14.35 percent on gold bars and gold doré respectively. With an additional 3 percent Goods and Services Tax, consumers have to pay 18.45 percent tax for gold ornaments.
“The trend of concealing gold in private parts has grown, with many carriers being caught recently. These individuals are trained smugglers, and we use advanced technology and expert officers to read their body language,” explained Chitkara.
Most of these carriers were caught based on intelligence, suspected flyer profiles, or suspicious behaviour, according to Customs officials.

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