Gold smugglers held up at air port

PTI, PANAJI | 21 August 2013 21:08 IST

Three persons, including two Sri Lankan nationals, were arrested at Dabolim airport in Goa for allegedly smuggling over 4 kg of gold, valued at Rs 1.33 crore, Customs officials said today.

The seizure has rung alarm bells in the department which believes that the incident is not an isolated one and could be an indication of the revival of gold smuggling through air and porous sea routes in the coastal state. 

Commissionerate of Central Excise and Customs department sleuths today said the trio were apprehended following a tip-off. 

"We seized 4.129 kg of gold worth Rs 1.33 crore in Indian market. One of the arrested persons had concealed part of gold in his rectum and another in a music system," Central Excise and Customs commissioner VPC Rao told reporters here. 

The officer said the department has detected ten cases of gold smuggling since the beginning of this year. 

"Since January this year, we have detected ten cases of gold smuggling. As the trend shows, gold is being smuggled on regular basis," he said. 

Rao expressed apprehension that the practice of carrying out smuggling through porous sea routes in Goa may be reviving due to huge difference in domestic and international prices of gold in the Middle East. 

Alarmed by the incident, he announced deployment of shore guard from September 1 to patrol the entire coast. 

Goa had been used as a transit point in 1970s to smuggle out gold landed in its shore from abroad to rest of the country by road.

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