Delhi customs seize gold worth $55,000 hidden on plane from Abu Dhabi

Gold paste concealed in piping of airline seat

Gold hidden in the seat of an aircraft from Abu Dhabi has been recovered by customs officials in Delhi. Photo: Delhi Customs
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Customs officials in Delhi have found gold worth $55,000 hidden in the seat of an aircraft coming from Abu Dhabi.

The 938 grams of gold paste was concealed in the piping of the seat and discovered during an inspection by authorities at Indira Gandhi International Airport.

“Air Customs@ IGI Airport rummaged an aircraft which had earlier come from Abu Dhabi and recovered gold in paste form concealed in the piping of a seat,” Delhi Customs tweeted on Monday.

“On extraction 938.25 gms of pure gold valued at Rs. 43.33 lakhs was extracted and was seized. Further investigations are being done.”

It was the latest recovery by customs officials at Indian airports who make regular seizures of gold smuggled into the country by passengers arriving from the Gulf.

The officials did not give out any details about the flight or the passenger.

Passengers are often caught trying to smuggle gold into the country to avoid paying import duties but officials are on alert to detect their ever-increasing ingenuity.

In previous attempts passengers hid gold inside clothing, electrical appliances, concealed in the lining of baggage, dentures and even worn under wigs.

Gold tax explained

The route from Dubai to India is a popular one for smugglers trying to avoid paying duty on the gold they import.

India charges 10.75 per cent of the value of gold taken into the country.

Men can import up to 20g of gold and female passengers are allowed to bring in 40g without paying tax.

Travellers who want to bring more gold into India must declare it on arrival at border control and pay import duty.

In addition to customs charges, the Indian government levies a goods and services tax on the manufacturing and services of gold.

Anyone buying gold must pay GST, as well as making charges, which adds a further 8 per cent to the total cost.

There is no limit on the amount of gold a person can export from the UAE and there are no taxes to be paid as you leave the country.

Gold smuggling in India - in pictures

Updated: July 05, 2022, 9:30 AM