Unlike recent instances of criminals using ingenious methods to smuggle gold, staid Navi Mumbai builder held for carrying jewellery worth Rs 22 lakh in his hand baggage
While custom officials at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport have witnessed a number of innovative methods used by passengers in August and September to pass undeclared gold jewellery through, including hiding it in electric kettles, kneecaps and underwear, October has proved to be a rather dull month.
On Saturday, custom officials apprehended a well-known developer from Navi Mumbai, Amol Pareira of Pareira Realtors, for carrying undeclared gold jewellery worth Rs 22 lakh in his hand baggage.
Pareira had flown into the city with his wife and mother on an Emirates flight from Dubai. He walked breezily into the green channel with his hand baggage and claimed to have nothing to declare until Sameer Wankhade, deputy commissioner Customs, got his baggage checked and discovered the hidden stash.
An official from the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Customs said on condition of anonymity, "He was so confident that even without declaring the jewellery he was carrying, he entered the green channel."
This case follows a string of ingenious attempts to smuggle in gold in the past two months. On September 28, an Indian national by the name of Martoz Khan was arrested for carrying five kilograms of gold that he hid in two electric kettles. Mohammed Abdul Munir was arrested on September 15 for carrying Rs 62 lakh worth gold jewellery in his kneecaps, and Adam Hamid was held on August 12 for carrying 500 gold chains in his
When the jewellery was found, Pareira reportedly feigned ignorance about guidelines. When contacted, RP Khandelwal, additional commissioner Customs said, "He has been arrested under Section 104 of the Indian Customs Act." He was produced at the Esplanade Court later in the day.