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Chennai airport sees a huge spike in gold seizures, recovers 355 kg in 2019

A whopping 355 kg of gold worth ₹123 crore was seized from hundreds of passengers at Chennai airport last year. The airport witnessed a huge increase of 53% in its seizures, when compared to the previous year.

Data accessed by The Hindu shows, in 2018, 232 kg of gold worth ₹72 crore was seized as against 355 kg in 2019.

Rajan Chaudhary, Commissioner of Customs, Chennai International Airport, says most of these passengers come from destinations like Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. “Earlier, we used to find most passengers coming from the Middle East conceal gold in various forms and come to the city. But these days, it is predominantly from Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. We have stepped up vigilance substantially and that’s one of the major reasons we have been able to seize the gold. Apart from intelligence inputs, we also carefully check passengers and that has helped,” he says.

From concealing the precious metal in MP3 players to skateboards and even door latches, passengers have found innumerable ways to hide gold. But most of them conceal gold inside their rectum. The biggest case in 2019 however, was when two Korean passengers from Hongkong concealed 24 kg of gold worth ₹8 crore inside their shorts.

This apart, Chennai Customs has also seized foreign currencies of various countries worth ₹10 crore carried by passengers. In one case, diamonds weighing 2,996 carat worth ₹2.25 crore was also seized by officials last year. A Malaysian passenger who came from Kuala Lumpur had concealed them in his inner wear and also at the bottom of a multi-purpose cooker in his check-in baggage. Courtesy - The Hindu

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