Buyers on the Internet had told him that the metal is valued more in India than in Tokyo
A Japanese trader, trying to smuggle five gold bars worth 25 million Yen (Rs 1.48 crore) by taping all of them to his groin, was caught on Thursday at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The smuggler, who arrived from Singapore, said Indian buyers had suggested this method to hide the gold and told him that he would earn more for the gold bars in India than in Tokyo.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had information that Sagawa Harudie, a Japanese passenger arriving in Mumbai at 9.55 pm through an Air India flight on Thursday, would be smuggling large quantities of foreign marked gold into the country.
He was identified outside the arrival hall by his passport. “The passenger did not declare any dutiable item with him. However, we found five bars weighing 1 kg each taped to his groin area,” stated a DRI official.
The statement of this passenger was recorded under Section 108 of Customs Act yesterday. Harudie had bought the gold at Singapore Changi Airport for 25 million Yen. “He said that he chatted with Indian buyers on the Internet and they told him that the yellow bar is valued more here than in Tokyo. He further claimed that Indians also told him how to conceal the gold bars to escape the Customs’ eyes but he said he wasn’t aware that this was an offence under the provision on the Indian Customs Law,” added another official.
“Harudie was arrested and produced before the ACMM Esplanade Court and remanded in judicial custody till April 13,” said a Customs official.
Liquor consignments seized
The state excise department on Thursday seized 87 barrels of spirit worth R1.29crore coming from Haryana at Kalamboli.
They suspect that it was being taken to make liquor. The driver, who hails from Karnataka, was arrested and then taken into three days’ excise custody. On Wednesday, they had also seized 991 boxes of liquor labelled with a toothpaste brand.
A local Goa liquor brand, King Deluxe, was being transported with illegal documents in bottles of 180 ml and 750ml. This is the biggest seizure the state excise has made in 48 hours and we are striving to do more such work, said State Excise Commissioner Vijay Singhal.