Indian authorities arrest passenger trying to smuggle gold from UAE

The suspect was caught at a Kerala airport wearing a belt filled with 908 grams of gold

Three packets of gold have been intercepted from a passenger flying to India from the UAE. The National
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An airline passenger was caught in India after customs officials uncovered an attempt to smuggle gold from the UAE to Kerala.

The suspect, an Indian citizen, was arrested at Kozhikode Calicut International Airport after disembarking the flydubai Boeing 737 at about 6pm on Tuesday, Indian media reported.

The traveller attempted to smuggle 908 grams of gold worth about Dh195,000.

The gold was concealed in three capsule-shaped packets and a plastic pouch hidden inside a cotton belt worn around the passenger's waist.

High taxes in India make smuggling gold from the Middle East a lucrative business.

The goods and services tax on gold in India is 18 per cent.

Buying gold in grams is popular for small-time investors because it is easier to store and requires cheaper insurance than for a 26g bar.

Gold is currently trading at about $60 (Dh220) per gram, or about 4,470 Indian rupees.

This month, Indian border officers stopped a woman who flew to Kochi, Kerala, from Muscat, Oman, and recovered 24-carat gold chains worth about Dh50,000.

A major investigation also began in Kerala and the UAE this month after the interception of 30kg of gold into India from the Emirates.

The gold, valued at Dh7 million, was concealed in aluminium cylindrical locks and disguised as foodstuff in diplomatic baggage.

Air cargo containing the gold was addressed to the UAE consulate in the southern city of Thiruvananthapuram

The tax saving on the shipment would have amounted to Dh1.25 million.

Arrests were made in Thiruvananthapuram, where the package transited through, while an Interpol blue notice was issued for suspects in Dubai.