Indian Customs officials on Friday seized 7 kg of gold concealed in the petrol tank of BMW mini Cooper car imported from Dubai, in Kochi.
The gold bars were concealed in the tank of the car in the form of 13 crude chains. The car was imported to Kochi through carnet de passage from Dubai.
Carnet de passage is a document that allows a person to cross international borders with a vehicle avoiding paying customs charges. It is basically a promise that the person will take the vehicle out of the country when he or she leave the country.
“The BMW reached Cochin Port two days ago from Dubai and the gold was detected during the clearance procedure. The car was imported as a touring vehicle with a temporary permit for six months. We cannot divulge the details of the car owner at present as it will affect the investigation,” Times of India quoted a customs officer as saying.
According to The New Indian Express, the consignment was meant to a man based in Kasargode. His identity is yet to be confirmed.
The officials said this is first time in recent times that gold was smuggled into the state through cargo shipment.
Officials of the Customs Department had recently tightened the noose around the gold smugglers in the wake of sharp rise in gold smuggling into the state through various international airports in the state.