Gold smuggling: ‘Break the chain’ and other modus operandi
The gold smugglers had already decided to ‘break the chain’. Earlier if Customs or Revenue Intelligence seize the goods, the details regarding who, for whom, from where etc would have been easily revealed. But now, they are broken chains where VIP smugglers to scattered small gangs. They will not know each other.
The VIP channel
One of this method, small bags of goods are transported in hands of those who can enter aircrafts with no inspection through green channel. In 2013, a diplomat has nabbed in Delhi airport smuggling gold. Though he was let off the bag was seized and later found to belong to a business man on the same flight.
The other method is to engage officials at airports in the plan. This can range from Customs to cleaning staff. If officials are involved they turn a blind eye towards scanning while cleaning staff is involved, carriers drop the packages in places planned like restrooms and the staff will take it outside.
The chain method
In this method, there would be many small links. The investor in gulf, carrier, ‘track clear’ agents in gulf who helps in finding carriers and squad team at airport to take the goods brought by carriers safely outside. The squad team hands over the gold to gangs that supplies to jewelleries. Intermediaries help in connecting these teams.
The rate for each link is decided by the risk in smuggling. Usually track clear agents are paid Rs 5000 to find a carrier. Carrier will get Rs 20,000 and the flight ticket. Their photo will be taken before entrusting the gold.
The carrier or the track clear agent will not know who the investor is. Carrier will hand over the gold to squad team. They identify the person with the photo and approach the carrier. With no communication, squad team, will take the gold outside airport.
The recipient from squad team will meet at a point and hand over the goods. They might not know each other and identify using codes and symbols.
Once it is done the deal is closed and the gold will later arrive in market in forms of jewellery with bronze mix or as pure gold.
The arrangement is such that if one person is nabbed only they will be trapped and others will remain safe.