A crafty gold smuggler was tripped up at India’s Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi when an informant dropped a dime on him to police.
Abdul Sattar had made it through the inspection process when he was pulled aside by customs officials. Sattar had three cardboard cartons in his luggage. One contained a TV, one a food processor and the third miscellaneous items. All the items checked out OK, but then officers noticed the huge number of shipping staples holding the boxes together. They counted 109 staples, weighing a total of 755 grams.
The staples turned out to be made of gold – 27.24 troy ounces of gold, worth R20 lakh (2 million rupees/$34,288). After his arrest, Sattar admitted the gold staples, weighing 6 grams each, had been crafted in Dubai, then painted grey before being used to assemble the boxes.
Once again, someone with a great idea got greedy and tipped their hand while smuggling gold into India. This is similar to the man who replaced his cell phone battery with a small gold brick, but then tried to bring six cell phones at once into the country. Of course, the customs police got suspicious and opened them.
Gold smuggling has surged in India since the gold import taxes have quadrupled in two years, from 2% to 8%.