Hyderabad: The Customs officials at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport have seized 37 kilograms of Gold that was being smuggled into the City from foreign countries this year over the past seven months, that is 300 percent of the amount of gold seized last year.
The customs have charged around 93 persons for smuggling gold between April and October this year. Last year, 25 cases were registered while 11.453 kgs of gold were seized by the customs.
A senior customs official said that intelligence network of the department is tightened which is successfully helping to nab the gold smugglers.
He said, “The collection of intelligence plays an important role in tracking down gold smugglers. Additionally, some new techniques have been adopted to track and trap gold smugglers”.
According to the customs officials around 27 total cases have been registered in October of which 16 were against the people who arrived from Dubai and 3 cases were against people traveling from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
“Large consignments are being split into smaller ones and scattered among carriers who smuggle the gold into the country. Organized syndicates of smugglers ensure that large consignments are not brought in,” he said.
He added that “the smuggler is arrested if the customs seize gold worth over Rs 20 lakh. Other-wise, the property is seized and the smuggler is issued a notice, which is why they avoid large consignments.”
Jewellery shops near Gulzar Houz and Ameerpet in the city are destinations to sell the smuggled Gold from foreign countries.
According to a customs official, “People coming to India for the first time are lured into carrying gold bars as they are unsuspecting and they easily get through the airport exit”.
He stated that these smugglers develop their own methods to avoid being caught by the customs after closely watching how the system operates to apprehend the smugglers.
“Gold is usually smuggled in biscuit form, concealed in footwear or undergarments. The carriers are usually small-time workers in the Middle East who are easily lured by free tickets,” says an official.
These gold carriers hand over the consignments to the persons waiting outside the Airport before receiving their commissions for their part of the job done.
According to the sources the consignment is collected from the houses of the local youths sent on tourists visas to smuggle Gold from the Middle East in return of commissions as well as free traveling tickets along with accommodation.