Monday, September 11, 2023

Unemployed T labourers in Gulf turn gold couriers

Hyderabad: Gold smugglers have found a new target - unemployed migrant labourers from Telangana struggling to survive in the Gulf countries.

Under the pretext of bailing them out, smugglers are luring such workers into becoming couriers for their illegal trade. On offer are a fully paid trip back home and a small commission of 10,000 to 15,000 for the assignment.

"Post Covid-19, dozens of people from the rural parts of the state have been travelling to the Gulf countries in hope of employment. But many of them are failing to find any work. It is these men who have become soft targets for smugglers," said a source from Customs at RGI Airport. Another source from Hyderabad police added: "Since the men go to these foreign countries with just a meagre sum of money, they find it extremely difficult to survive if they do not get work. They often do not have enough money to even buy a one-way return ticket."

Sources said, these men are contacted by smugglers through agents, aware of their adverse situation.

"For every consignment successfully smuggled into India, these couriers are promised a payment of 10,000 to 15,000. Many see this as their only ray of hope to return to India and fall prey," the source added.

11/09/2023 Srinath Vudali/Times of India

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