Gold bars found hidden in plane toilet on Dubai to India flight

Footage shows customs officers in Delhi finding stash after a tip-off

A gold bar, covered in tape, recovered on the aircraft from Dubai. Photo: Delhi Customs
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Gold bars wrapped in tape and hidden under the wash basin of an aircraft toilet have been recovered on a flight from Dubai to India.

Customs officials at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi acted on a tip-off to check the washrooms of the plane on arrival on Sunday.

A video showed customs officers searching the cavity of a wash basin in a toilet and recovering four gold bars. The airline was not named by Indian authorities.

Gold is the number one traded commodity in Dubai, with airline passengers regularly found trying to take it into India without paying the customs fees for valuable imports.

While there is no limit on the amount of gold that can be exported from the UAE tax free, India applies a levy of 10.75 per cent of the value taken into the country.

On March 3, officers from the Ludhiana Customs Commissionerate officers working at the Chandigarh International Airport seized 18 bars of pure gold, each weighing 1kg, worth an estimated $2.5 million.

The bars marked as “Etihad Gold Dubai UAE” were packed into the hand luggage of a passenger on board an IndiGo flight from Dubai.

A 30-year-old was identified at Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport by the Advance Passenger Information System, an electronic data interchange established by the US Customs and Border Protection to enhance airline security.

Authorities conducted several raids as a result of the seizure across India, including Khanna in Punjab.

Gold smuggling in India - in pictures

Updated: March 07, 2023, 9:19 AM