THE government is making a follow-up on reports of four Indian nationals travelling from Tanzania, who were arrested last Friday at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) with 53 kilogrammes of gold, which they intended to smuggle to the Asian country.
Deputy Minister for Minerals, Dr Stephen Kiruswa, told ‘Daily News’ on Monday that a team of government officials from Tanzania is working to trace the origin of the seized minerals.
“We have received the reports but since the gold was seized in India, our people are making a follow-up to trace the origin of the minerals,” Dr Kiruswa said in a telephone interview.
According to media reports from India, the four men were quoted as saying that they were given the gold by an unknown Sudanese national during transit at Doha Airport. The said passenger was, however, not in the flight.
“They were found carrying smuggled gold in the form of one kilogramme bar ingeniously concealed in specially designed waist belts with multiple pockets wrapped around their torso.
“A total of 53 kilogrammes of gold was recovered from the four,” Indian officials were quoted by media outlets in that country.
However, it has not been established whether the precious metals were sourced from Tanzania, since the four arrested Indian nationals are said to have travelled from Tanzania to India after connecting a flight in Doha, Qatar.
Officers at Indian airports deal with several instances of passengers trying to smuggle gold throughout the year, with some using unusual methods to trick the authorities.
On the same day that the four men were arrested, around eight kilogrammes of gold were intercepted from three passengers who had arrived at the airport on a flight from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“One of the passengers was a woman in her late sixties who required wheelchair assistance to move around,” the officials told journalists.
They added They found “gold dust in wax form ingeniously concealed in the waistline of the jeans worn by the passengers.” They have been sent to judicial custody for 14 days.
Passengers smuggling gold into India is not new, and officers are on the lookout for such cases at all major airports. Passengers also try to use different methods to carry out these illegal operations to trick authorities.