In Five Incidents Over Three Days, 14 People Apprehended at Delhi Airport For Smuggling Gold
The accused include Chinese, Iranian and Azarbaijan nationals.
File photo of New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport.
New Delhi: 14 people, including six Chinese nationals and an Iranian, were arrested separately by customs officials at the international airport here for allegedly smuggling gold worth about Rs 8 crore into the country.
These people were arrested in five different incidents that were reported over the past three days, said Anubha Sinha, Joint Commissioner (Customs) at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
The total haul was one of the biggest seizures made by the customs in recent times, she said.
Giving details of the cases, Sinha said besides the Chinese nationals, the customs department has also arrested an Iranian and five Azerbaijan nationals.
In one case, the customs officials had yesterday intercepted two Chinese nationals on their arrival from Bangkok.
A detailed examination of their baggage and personal search resulted in the recovery of six kilograms of gold. They had concealed the gold in form of bangles worn by them, Sinha said. The gold which is assessed to be worth Rs 1.8 crore has been seized.
In another case, an Iranian national was held on his arrival from Dubai on Tuesday for allegedly trying to smuggle in eight kilograms of gold. He had concealed the gold in especially designed pockets of a jacket worn by him.
On the same day, five Azerbaijan nationals, were arrested for smuggling in 2.45 kilograms of gold. The accused, which included three women, had concealed the gold in form of bangles and other jewelry worn by them.
On June 11, four Chinese nationals were arrested for illegally carrying six kilograms of gold. Of the total gold, about five kg was concealed in rectum by these accused, said Anees Cherkunnath, Deputy Commissioner (Air Intelligence) at the airport.
They were intercepted on their arrival from Hong Kong.
An Indian man was also arrested on the same day for smuggling in one kilogram of gold. He had concealed the yellow metal in rectum.
The accused was held when he was proceeding to board a flight to Amritsar, Cherkunnath said, adding that he had come from Bangkok.
Another Indian man was held on June 12, who had also come from Bangkok and was all set to board a flight to Amritsar. He had concealed three kilograms gold in his checked-in baggage, the official said.
In all, 26.45 kilograms of gold worth Rs 7.93 crore has been seized in these cases, Cherkunnath said.
According to a senior customs official, smugglers were following novel modus operandi to smuggle in gold.
These smugglers first try to carry illegal money, mostly cash, by avoiding customs authorities and use this proceeds to buy gold and bring it to India, he said.
The demand of gold has been traditionally high in the country as most people invests in it or use it in jewellery during marriages and other religious ceremonies, the official said.
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