New Delhi/Lucknow: Top gold smuggling syndicate, using specially designed bras and panties to smuggle gold paste in the country, has been busted. The syndicate had hired women couriers, wearing these special undergarments to smuggle gold in form of paste. One of the key couriers, a 39-year-old woman, was arrested at Lucknow airport on Monday with 1,259 grams of yellow paste, hidden in specially designed bra and panty.
Top sources in Customs (Preventive) unit of Lucknow revealed to IANS that a young woman, originally hailing from Turkman gate, Delhi, travelling from Dubai, landed from flight no FZ 8325 on April 26, 2021. On specific input, she was intercepted while trying to exit from the airport. “When the ladies staff searched her, yellow paste was recovered from the bra and panty worn by the courier. The yellow paste, packed in black polythene and stitched in her bra was recovered,” revealed a Customs source.
The accused was produced before the Special Chief Judicial Magistrate (Customs), Lucknow on April 27, wherein she was remanded to judicial custody.
Revealing the unique modus operandi of the syndicate, sources informed that women couriers, in form of passengers were sent to Dubai from where they carried consignments of yellow paste, cleverly hidden in undergarments. The couriers were frequently flying to UAE and returning to India through different airports. For instance, the woman bearing passport M6779486, arrested at Lucknow on April 26, had flown to Dubai several times. Before landing at Lucknow, she in her earlier journey to UAE, had returned through IGI airport in Delhi on 6 January, 2021. “We are trying to ascertain the kingpin of this syndicate and also the number of women couriers engaged in smuggling activities,” source added.
Earlier on January 14, this year two passengers, who boarded an Air India Express flight, IX 1384 from Sharjah were arrested at Mangalore International airport. Both passengers were carrying gold paste, worth over Rs 1 crore hidden in their undergarments. “Wherever one hides the gold, in whatever form, liquid or paste, he/she should be clear that we will trace it finally. Some smugglers have hidden gold paste packets in rectum, but we recovered it,” said a Commissioner rank officer of the Customs.
A confidential report of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) says that big-time crime syndicates operating across India are smuggling gold in a paste form to dodge metal detectors and hi-tech X-ray machines installed at all international airports. DRI report reveals that these syndicates, through this method, smuggle gold by converting the yellow metal into powder and compounds in a paste form. Once the consignment is smuggled, approximately 700 gm of gold per 1,000 gm of paste is retrieved from a chemical procedure. The gold, in pure form, is then handed over to the concerned party.