Bengaluru, Aug 27: The Customs and Central Excise, Goa is handling a very interesting case relating to gold smuggling. This incident which involved two residents of Bhatkal who were attempting to smuggle gold tells us the kind of things smugglers do in a bid to further their business.
The gold that was being smuggled was found in various forms- umbrella handle, Nivea cream cover and also a suitcase handle.
The Joint Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise, Sinha S K informed that the seizure is being investigated.
The staff of the central excise were carrying out a routine check of the Air India Flight, AI-994 which was on its way from Goa to Dubai via Mumbai. During the check, the officials apprehended Mohammad Abdul a resident of Bhatkal who is now being questioned.
In another incident, the officials checked a flight coming into Goa from Dubai. In this incident, the custom officials apprehended a person by name Farhan also a resident of Bhatkal. Investigations are underway and the officials are checking the exact route and nature of the smuggling. The officials have also sounded a high alert in the Goa airport especially on the international flights.
The various forms of gold:
Custom officials were taken aback when they found that the gold was being smuggled in various forms. From the first recovery, the officials found a gold pen, purse and a string. In these items the gold had been moulded and was being smuggled in this form.
However the more interesting finds were an umbrella which had a gold handle. The Nivea cream container which was moulded was another interesting find. In the second seizure, the custom officials found that the suitcase wheels were made out of gold. In both the incidents, the gold that was being smuggled amounted to Rs 32 lakh.
Smaller quantities being smuggled:
These are invidual smugglers and are not part of any major crime syndicate. Such incidents are on the rise and most of such cases are being reported from coastal belts. There have been a spate of such incidents reported from Kerala.
Bhatkal has always been a hub for smuggling activity. Individuals with contacts in Dubai move gold in and out and they end up making a fast buck. For the custom officials this is a bigger task as it is always harder to deal with an individual when compared to a crime synidicate. Individuals tend to carry smaller amounts of gold which makes it all the more harder to trace.
Moreover in the past couple of incidents, the custom officials have found the various innovations that these smugglers have come up with. With each seizure, the officials realize that there is a new form in which gold is being smuggled.