‘Gold paste almost impossible to detect’

Without specific intelligence, detecting gold smuggled in the form of paste is next to impossible. Even advanced body scanners cannot detect the material.

Published: 23rd July 2018 02:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2018 07:27 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Without specific intelligence, detecting gold smuggled in the form of paste is next to impossible. Even advanced body scanners cannot detect the material. Sources say that the process is not a common or well-known practice in India since there was no need to smuggle gold abroad, and because smuggling rackets operated mostly in middle eastern countries.

“Out of all the methods that one can smuggle gold with, this is the safest and easiest. Even if someone is caught on suspicion, it is difficult to identify it until the carrier himself slips up and gives a clue,” said the source. Though it is the first such case logged by the DRI’s Hyderabad division, and it is more common in airports of Cochin and Chennai.

Detection of gold paste smuggling has become a problem for enforcement officials. However, some suspects can be stopped based on profiling of passengers based on their travel patters.

A city-based jeweller, on the condition of anonymity, explained the process of converting pure gold into paste form. “Pure gold is melted at high temperature and added with impurities. Later the solution is died and made into a paste. Once smuggled, the paste is converted into powder form and then it washed with chemical solutions which allow the gold to be extracted,” he said. The entire process can take around 9 to 12 hours.



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