In­dian of­fi­cials catch 11 gold smug­glers

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

New Delhi, In­dia - Gold smug­glers are re­sort­ing to in­creas­ingly des­per­ate mea­sures to get the metal past cus­toms, In­dian of­fi­cials said, af­ter nearly a dozen peo­ple were caught with bul­lion stashed in their rec­tums.

In­dia is the world’s sec­ond­largest con­sumer of gold and smug­gling has been in­creas­ing since du­ties were raised on the pre­cious metal.

Cus­toms of­fi­cials act­ing on a tip-off on Sun­day de­tained a group of crafty gold mules as their plane from Sri Lanka touched down in the south­ern city of Madu­rai.

“Eleven pas­sen­gers had con­cealed some 32 to 50 grams each in their rec­tums. An­other 17 had hid­den gold in their lug­gage,” a se­nior Direc­torate of Rev­enue In­tel­li­gence of­fi­cial said.

The value of the haul was more than R30mn (US$500,000), he added.

De­mand for gold peaks in the fi­nal months of the year as the wed­ding sea­son gets go­ing and prepa­ra­tions are made for the ma­jor Hindu fes­ti­vals of Di­wali and Dussehra.

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