Indian officials catch 11 gold smugglers
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.