Karipur: Even as the customs officials are on high alert at the airports to stop illegal gold smuggling, the mafia has become rampant by resorting to extremely risky methods to smuggle out gold. The human body has now become a gold mine with the smugglers swallowing capsule sized gold or hiding it in their private parts. Most of the recent busts in the Kozhikode airport have left the officials aghast.
Tiny gold particles are first mixed with some chemical powders to be turned into a semi liquid state. The investigative officers say that condoms are filled with this gold mixture and then hidden inside the human body. The modern scanners installed in the airports apparently cannot detect the gold that is hidden like this. Recently, a youth had effortlessly smuggled gold out of the Kozhikode airport, undetected by the scanners. He was kidnapped outside the airport by the members of the smuggling mafia. This incident came out when the youth had later filed a complaint with the police.
In most cases, the customs officials make arrests based on the tip-offs that they get from informers or when they question the suspects. The data shows that the number of people who travel abroad to smuggle gold has sky rocketed in the recent times. Most of them may have fallen for the lucrative offers made by the smuggling mafia. The mafia even lures the passengers travelling from the Gulf to Kerala by offering them free airplane tickets and other rewards. Gold smuggling through airports have become rampant, especially after the import taxes and the gold price have shot up. The intelligence agencies have been put on high alert in the airports to stop gold smuggling.
The customs officers say that smuggling gold by hiding it inside the body is extremely dangerous and could even be life threatening. The gold packets are inserted into the carriers’ bodies by specially trained members of the smuggling gang. It is often done a few hours before the scheduled journey. The carriers are instructed not to eat anything after the gold has been inserted into their bodies. They are allowed to drink only plain water. However, some of them may exhibit nausea or vomiting tendencies while at the airport. If detained based on suspicions, an x ray would be taken to confirm whether they are smugglers. In most cases, these gold packets are surgically removed at the hospitals.