Customs staff at Chandigarh International Airport seized 1.16 kg gold worth ₹35.50 lakh from a woman flying in from Dubai.
The metal was concealed inside her suitcase in the form of two nickel coated wires.
The woman whose identity has been withheld for investigations was arrested under the customs law while trying to cross the green channel after arriving by Indigo flight 6E-57 from Dubai. One of her checked bags was marked with an ‘X’ cross and when the customs officials asked if she had anything to declare, she replied in the negative.
A luggage scan in the X-ray machine at the arrival hall revealed the presence of wire in her bag, which was then emptied and rescanned. “A cavity in the bag was opened with a screwdriver and two “white nickel coated wires made of 24 carat gold, weighing 1,164 grams, were recovered,” airport officials said.
The passenger was later granted bail.
Barring a few cases from Sharjah and Bangkok, most of the gold has been seized from passengers from Dubai. The price difference of ₹3,500 to ₹4,000 per tola (10 gram) of 24 carat gold in the Indian and Dubai markets and its purity in that country makes the yellow metal particularly attractive to smugglers, who earn up to ₹4lakh to ₹5lakh per kg of gold. Restriction on gold procurement in India is also one reason why it’s smuggled in.
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