Bangladesh: Fake wheelchair user arrested for smuggling gold

Image source, Bangladesh Customs Intelligence
Image caption,
Bangladesh has emerged as a hub for smuggling gold into India

A man pretending to be a wheelchair user who had taped 25kg (55lb) of gold to his thighs has been arrested at Bangladesh's main airport.

Customs officials became suspicious when they saw that Jamil Akhter had travelled abroad 13 times this year.

The $1.5m (£1.15m) haul is the largest this year as Bangladesh has emerged as a hub for smuggling gold into India.

Higher import duties on gold in India, the world's biggest gold consumer, have led to a surge in trafficking.

Earlier on Sunday officials also found 6kg of gold taped inside the toilet of a plane flown from Singapore, airport customs spokesman Ahsanul Kabir told AFP news agency.

A record 1.5 tonnes of gold has been seized at Bangladeshi airports over the past three years, most coming from Gulf countries.

More than 100 people, mostly Bangladeshi migrants working in the Gulf, have been arrested since 2014 for attempting to smuggle gold through Bangladeshi airports.

Trafficking networks include air hostesses, ground staff and corrupt security personnel, officials said.

Smuggling surge

  • In May a man was caught at Dhaka's airport trying to smuggle 600g of gold in six bars hidden in his backside
  • Last year a man was caught posing as a wheelchair user in an attempt to smuggle 23kg of gold
  • Earlier this month a Bangladeshi was caught having flown from Bangladesh to Kolkata with a metal cutter and 1.2kg of gold in his luggage

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