Gold weighing 3.250 kg was seized from a Bahrain passenger at the Cochin International Airport in the southern Indian state of Kerala yesterday.
The gold was recovered from an Air India Express passenger, who hails from Tuvvur in Malappuram district.
The suspect tried to conceal the “gold paste” on his leg, which he had wrapped with the bandaid used for leg pain relief. The gold was recovered by officials when they noticed the strange way in which he walked.
Smuggling of gold via Kerala airports has increased in recent times in spite of the Customs Department taking stringent measures against it.
One of the reasons cited is the spurt in gold demand in the State even as carriers are devising innovative methods to smuggle the yellow metal from abroad, mainly the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Officials have registered about 265 cases seizing 127. 62 kg of gold till November this fiscal.
The state is one of the largest consumers of gold in India. Buying gold is cheaper in Dubai even after the introduction of 5 percent of Value Added Tax in the UAE or any of the GCC nations.