Earlier this week, officials recovered 18 gold biscuits from the stomach of a Sri Lankan national who landed in the city.

Gold smuggling on the rise at Vizag airport officials seize strips worth Rs 106 lakhImage for representation
news Crime Friday, October 06, 2017 - 08:59

Customs officials at the Visakhapatnam International Airport apprehended a person for allegedly trying to smuggle gold on Thursday, making it the second big bust this week.

The accused was identified as Lathief Veerankunhi, a native of Kerala who had travelled to Dubai to purchase the gold, before landing in Visakhapatnam via Colombo. 

After his arrest, officials seized around 350g of gold valued at Rs 10.6 lakh, along with some imported cigarettes. 

The gold was being transported in the form of thin strips. 

Earlier this week, customs officials of the Air Intelligence Unit at the airport recovered 18 gold biscuits, weighing 347 grams, from the stomach of a Sri Lankan national who landed in the city.

The estimated price of the gold was Rs 10.56 lakh. 

Officials intercepted the accused at the green channel, based on intelligence inputs.

When questioned, he confessed to concealing 18 gold biscuits in his stomach and rectum.

Abdul Razak then ejected four biscuits on his own, and was taken to the King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam, where the remaining were removed by doctors.  

This form of smuggling is called body packing, as it involves stuffing contraband in the form of packages, hidden in anatomical cavities such as the mouth, rectum, intestine, ear and vagina.

With such cases on the rise at the Visakhapatnam airport, officials are stepping up their security.

“Unless we have some prior intelligence inputs, it is not an easy task to stop a foreign national who declares to proceed through the green channel, as it might snowball into a diplomatic crisis. It is a split second decision coordinated with concrete intel inputs,” a Customs officer told The Hindu.

“The smuggling of gold in electronic gadgets, shoes and toys are old practices. Now the passengers are using their abdomen and rectums to bring the gold illegally. According to sources, the gold business in north Andhra region and parts of Odisha has been increasing. Some of the traders are bringing the yellow metal illegally by using agents. Though the practice is danger still the smugglers are choosing the human bodies,” a senior official of Visakhapatnam Customs Commissionerate told The Hans India.


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