Passenger arriving in Delhi from Riyadh caught with smuggled gold worth $87,000

Delhi Airport Customs said the traveller, who flew via Dubai, had gold twisted into rods and concealed in a check-in bag

Indian airports are gearing up for a rush of Indian expats trying to get home to Dubai. EPA
Indian airports are gearing up for a rush of Indian expats trying to get home to Dubai. EPA

A passenger who flew from Riyadh to New Delhi was caught trying to smuggle two gold rods in their hand luggage.

Authorities in the Indian capital intercepted the attempt to bring in two rods of gold weighing more than 1.4kg and worth $87,122 (Dh320,000)

The gold was “ingeniously concealed inside the check-in bag,” according to Delhi Airport Customs.

The passenger flew from the Saudi Arabian capital via Dubai on an Emirates flight on Tuesday.

Officials in the past discovered gold rods concealed in the metal frame of wheel-on cases.

In May, customs in Chennai foiled several attempts to smuggle gold on flights from Dubai.

In one attempt, 2.5kg of gold granules worth an estimated Dh600,000 were hidden in four containers of the instant orange drink, Tang.

They arrived in a postal parcel delivered via air freight.

On the same day, the authority recovered bundles of gold paste worth an estimated Dh200,000. The precious metal was hidden in a passenger’s underwear.

A day earlier, authorities in Chennai found 251 grams of gold, worth Dh60,000, hidden in a vacuum cleaner on a flight from Dubai.

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

Passengers arriving into India are not required to pay taxes on small volumes of gold.

But bigger quantities must be declared, with import duty fees equivalent to 10.75 per cent of the gold’s value paid to the Indian government.

Male passengers can take in up to 20 grams of gold worth 50,000 rupees ($688) duty free, while women are allowed 40 grams.

Most brazen smuggling attempts in pictures

Updated: June 2, 2021 03:41 PM

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