A person, who arrived at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport on Monday night, was
captured by the security agency on the charge of carrying gold bars.
The security personnel found three thick gold bars from a baggage which was hidden under his vest. The security personnel took him to the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport Police Station.
“The accused person was carrying around 250 gram gold bars, worth Rs 7.6 lakh. He came from Bangkok,” said a police officer.
However, the air intelligence wing of Customs has beefed up the security of Kolkata airport before Dhanteras. A custom officer said that many such gold-smuggling cases takes place in this time of the year, as the Diwali and Dhanteras is nearing.
The officers of Customs are now alert to prevent gold smuggling through Kolkata airport. Acting on intelligence inputs, the AIU officers checked trolleys of passengers at the entrance of the Green Channel.
“We have recovered the gold bars several times concealed inside two trolleys left unattended by passengers. It is a fairly repeated affair,” said a custom officer.
The Customs officer added that in the festive season, the big groups hire carriers or even take help from airlines staff to smuggle gold. On many occasions, gold has been recovered from the wash basins of airport restrooms. Now, instead of smuggling a huge quantity at a time, they smuggle in instalments.
The sleuths have also learnt that their modus operandi has also changed. While in the past, gold would be carried in the mouth or rectum, it is now melted in jeans, toothpicks and purse straps among others, and is often coloured to escape detection.
The investigators have also learnt that gold is mainly smuggled to Kolkata from Dubai and Bangkok. As per intelligence inputs, there are specific shops in Dubai and Bangkok which facilitate the sale of smuggled gold.
An airport source said that smugglers by far earn around Rs 5 lakh by selling 1 kg of gold in Kolkata. Kolkata has emerged as the biggest supplier of those who ferry gold.
In some recent incidents the Air Intelligence Wing of Customs at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata has seized gold worth Rs 22 lakh collectively in three consecutive days. Two persons were arrested in these cases.
In another incident, the security personnel detained a person on the charge of illegally bringing gold jewelleries, by keeping the gold jewelleries in a marker pen.