Customs officials in Chennai have seized 2.5kg of gold smuggled from Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia.
Indian media reports said that 14 people have been arrested after they arrived on different flights. The travellers hailed from Thanjavur, Trichy and Madurai and had gone to Malaysia, Singapore and Colombo on tourist visas. Checks revealed that they had concealed small quantities of gold in their bags.
“Many of the detained passengers frequently travel abroad. Questioning revealed that they were supposed to hand over gold to two smugglers in the city. Police would be investigating about those smugglers,” said an airport official, according to the Times of India.
Smugglers often depend on carriers to bring gold to the country. These carriers are mostly paid 5,000 to 7,000 per consignment. “Carriers often travel light and would have travelled several times. We profile carriers and identify them using the information from their passports,” said an official.
Smugglers take advantage of minor difference in price in foreign countries and reap huge benefit by evading import duty in India. Sri Lanka is popular because gold costs lesser than in India.