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Customs reports spike in smuggling at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport

Customs reports spike in smuggling at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport

The number of cash and gold smuggling cases busted at the Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport has been increasing every year, according to data from the customs department.

The data showed that cases of gold smuggling saw a three-fold increase in the past three years. As per the data accessed by HT, 26 cases of illegal cash seizures were reported from the IGI airport in the financial year (FY) 2016-2017 which went up to 31 in 2017-2018 and then to 64 in FY 2018-2019.

Additional commissioner of customs (IGIA) said that the cash seized also included foreign currency. The number of persons arrested with illegal cash too increased from 10 during 2016-17 to 54 last year.

Similarly, the data also shows a spurt in gold smuggling cases. In 2016-2017, gold smuggling cases busted at the Delhi airport was 95, which grew to 253 in the next fiscal of 2017-2018.

The additional commissioner said that, over the last fiscal, the customs department has busted smugglers who have tried various means to sneak in or travel out of the country with illegal gold and cash.

“In one case, a young Russian woman was caught with two kg gold bars concealed in her shoes,” the officer said.

“She was coming in as a tourist from Bangkok. She had an itinerary of different tourist destination in India so that she can dodge the customs. In another case, a Sri Lankan passenger arrived at the Delhi airport posing as a domestic passenger. He changed his flight at the transit area in Chennai but we caught him with around 1.4kg gold concealed under the soles of his shoes,” the customs officer said.