Is gold smuggling a daily affair from Dubai to India?

SANDESH PRABHUDESAI, PANAJI | 20 September 2013 21:20 IST

Goa customs commissioner VPC Rao with gold contraband

With gold prices soaring day by day, though with fluctuations, gold smuggling from Dubai to Indian subcontinent has probably become a daily affair while hardly any cases are cracked by the customs officials.

Goa detected a second case this month, after the first one detected last month, with 12 gold bars of one kg each, costing around Rs 3.6 crore.

The central excise and customs officials yesterday caught another big haul in Kochi of 20 gold bars worth Rs 5.8 crore; the biggest ever till date.

The Goa cases, of 18 September and 21 August, involved Sri Lankan nationals, giving an impression that Goa or India are used as transit points.

However, the Kochi case involved two ladies from Kerala, making it clear that Indians are equally involved in it.

Even in Goa case that was detected day before yesterday, one person was a Malyali, whom the officials did not detain in spite of suspicion.

 Goa’s central excise and customs commissioner admits that the gold smuggling could be an every day affair taking place on most of the aircrafts.

Not less than 120 aircrafts fly from Dubai to most of the air ports in India, connecting almost 60 cities.

Some of these flights are coverted into domestic flights once they land at the prime air ports of metro cities, after which they fly to further destination.

“We have jurisdiction over all the flight passengers, but we don’t check such things on domestic flights since people carry things like gold within India without any papers”, states Rao.

Taking advantage of this, the smugglers are transporting the contraband with a unique modus operandi.

For example, in Goa case that was detected on 18 September, the gold was smuggled from Dubai to Mumbai by two Sri Lankan passengers, who left it hidden below their seats.

The same seats were then occupied by their Indian contacts from Mumbai to Goa as domestic passengers, without even touching the gold bars.

Two new passengers – again Sri Lankan – boarded the flight as domestic passengers from Goa to Mumbai.

They were supposed to take the contrband in Mumbai once they landed without bothering about any customs check since it had become a domestic flight.

But the customs officials got alerted at Goa air port due to suspicious Malyali – Shanmugam – and rushed to the aircraft, to find contrband below the same seats the two Sri Lankans were occupying.

According to Rao, the same international aircraft, belonging to Air India and other Indian airlines, lands from Dubai to metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow, Hyderabad and Chennai and then flies further as the domestic flight, to return to the respective metros.

If smugglers are using this modus operandi by taking advantage of the same international aircraft getting converted into a domestic flight, then is it not necessary to stop this practice and change the aircraft at internatioma air port?

“How can we decide about it”, asks Rao, in reply.

But it is a fact that many flights are flying in such a manner from Dubai to India and, as Rao says, this could be a daily affair.

It means just not 10 or 20 kgs of gold but the quantum of contraband could be multifold and what is caught is not even a tip of the iceberg. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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Previous Comments

The most notorious flights are those which on arriving international airports fly domestic routes and if they are delayed be sure its not technical but a contraband delay. smugglers have studied all loopholes methods to woo Indians operating as airport or airline staff to smuggle gold and narcotics to sleeping zones of India. Goa, Mangalore, Pune, Belgaum and alike.

Custom officers will not act as they are heavily tipped and perhaps out of 200tonsld smuggled a day in india just 20kg is exposed and the rest sidelined for breakfast.

India, The most corrupt democracy in the world where Indian administrative services strike the top spot for corruption while 2nd place is begged by the Ministers, politicians and a kin. yeh hai India smuggling karo garabi hatao aur desh koh goli maro.

- massimo, Panjim | 24 th September 2013 15:49


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