In a recent incident at Kempegowda International Airport in Karnataka, a passenger arriving from Bangkok was apprehended for attempting to smuggle gold. The individual, hailing from Tamil Nadu, was found to be carrying nine gold rods weighing a total of 545 grams and valued at Rs 33.3 lakh. The alert was raised by the Bengaluru Customs’ Air Intelligence Unit during a profiling operation on passengers disembarking from a Thai Airways flight, TG 325. Suspicion arose when the man’s travel plans to Thailand seemed questionable. Subsequently, a search of his green bag revealed the concealed gold rods, clearly intended to evade detection by airport authorities. The passenger was promptly arrested on charges of gold smuggling and Customs duty evasion, while the gold was seized. Further investigation is ongoing to determine if he was acting alone or part of a wider smuggling network operating across different states.
In another similar case, a 20-year-old man arriving from Bahrain was apprehended at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport for attempting to smuggle 3.5 kilograms of gold, worth Rs 1.67 crore. The suspect had failed to declare the dutiable goods and had attempted to bypass customs through the green channel. Customs officials discovered the 24KT gold during a search. The surge in gold prices and the imposition of an 18% GST during the festival season are believed to be factors enticing smugglers to take such risks.