Indian passenger smuggles gold from Dubai in body cavity, gets robbed by fake officers

The man lodged a police complaint, revealing he had flown to the emirate at the behest of an acquaintance to smuggle the precious metal

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A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 13 Nov 2023, 3:26 PM

Last updated: Mon 13 Nov 2023, 4:43 PM

An Indian visitor to the Gulf recently took on a daring mission: smuggling two gold capsules worth Dh222,550 by concealing them in his body cavity.

Upon landing in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, in the early hours of October 28, he successfully navigated customs and airport checks before making his way to the airport parking lot, where a van sent by his accomplices awaited him. However, what was anticipated as a routine ride turned ominous when two mysterious figures, claiming to be from the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), emerged.

The encounter turned into a nightmarish ordeal as the supposed ATS agents coerced him into their vehicle, leading to a high-rise building where he was physically assaulted and forced to surrender the concealed gold.

Following the traumatic incident, the man lodged a police complaint, revealing he had flown to Dubai at the behest of an acquaintance to smuggle gold. Local media reports citing Ahmedabad police said investigations are underway, with a delay attributed to the complainant's fear of approaching the authorities.

According to the World Gold Council (WGC), gold smuggling in India surged by 33% to 160 tonnes in 2022 compared to the pre-Covid period. This increase is attributed to the rise in import duty from 7.5% to 12.5%. Coupled with an additional 3% GST, consumers now face an 18.45% tax on refined gold. The soaring gold prices have increased profit margins for smugglers from 15% to 20%. Legal limits allow men to bring in 20 grams and women 40 grams, but a body of Indian jewellers claim a staggering 340 tonnes out of 720 tonnes of gold entering India annually are smuggled. The gold seizure rate in India remains low at about two per cent.

Smugglers are employing inventive methods such as concealing gold in suitcases, wigs, body cavities or ingesting capsules filled with gold paste. In September, Punjab police dismantled an international gold smuggling operation, arresting two individuals and recovering 1.23 kg of 'gold paste.' Preliminary investigations suggest the syndicate trafficked a minimum of 50kg of gold from Dubai since July 2023.

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