Friday, January 11, 2019

Customs finds 4kg gold hidden in washbasin of flight from Dubai

Pune:Innovation is the name of the game when it comes to gold smuggling — the more ingenious the method, the better.
Till recently, converting gold into paste, powder or liquid form and even hiding it inside armrests of aircraft seats or underneath life jackets was the preferred way to bring the shiny metal illegally into the country from abroad.

But now gold ‘carriers’ have hit upon a novel way to smuggle in the ingot — concealed inside aircraft washbasin.

On Thursday, Pune customs officials recovered 4kg gold bars, worth Rs 1.29 crore, hidden inside the washbasin of the rear toilet of Dubai-Pune SpiceJet flight.

The haul is one of the biggest by Pune customs in recent years and the first this year so far. Officials said the gold bars were covered with black adhesive tapes.

“The space underneath the aircraft washbasin is covered but can be opened. The person who concealed the gold knew how to open the cover and close it again. There have been several instances of gold being recovered from this particular flight, hence we were alert,” an official told TOI.
“It is known to all that the SpiceJet flight from Dubai turns into a domestic flight after it lands here and proceeds towards its onward journey to Bengaluru,” the official said. This makes the job of the ‘carrier’ easier.
11/01/19 Joy Sengupta/Times of India