Delhi Airport seizes gold smuggled in mobile phone from Dubai passenger
Customs officials at Delhi Airport have seized gold hidden in the mobile phone of a passenger arriving from Dubai.
The 505 gram gold bar was moulded into the shape of a phone battery.
Officers at the Indian capital’s airport detained the passenger who arrived on a Vistara flight on Monday.
An investigation was launched but more details were not revealed.
Gold smuggling is a major issue for India. Authorities in the UAE and India separately launched an investigation into gold smuggling in July after customs officials in India thwarted an attempt to smuggle Dh7 million worth of gold from the UAE to Kerala.
Officers discovered 30kg of gold hidden in aluminium cylindrical locks and placed in a package labelled “foodstuff” alongside a pair of shoes and speakers.
Customs officials in India said the shipment arrived from the UAE through air cargo and was addressed to the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.
The UAE embassy in New Delhi called the incident a “major crime”.
Kerala customs officials seized more than a tonne of gold in raids last year.
The precious metal is smuggled in everything from electronics to chocolates.
The goods and services tax on gold in India is 18 per cent, making gold smuggling from the Middle East an attractive risk for some.
Professional gangs in India and the Middle East work with experts to mould gold so it can be concealed inside equipment or smuggled inside the bodies of passengers.
Offenders can face up to seven years in prison under the Indian Customs Act for illegally bringing in large quantities of contraband including gold.