New Delhi: To deceive security agencies, gold smugglers are getting more creative by the day. From hiding gold inside the lining of suitcases to concealing precious metal as used automobile spare parts, smugglers are using innovative modus-operandi to bring gold into India illegally.

The revelation was made after customs officers busted separate gangs of smugglers at Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi on Friday. Customs unit seized a clutch plate or pressure plate -- used as a mechanical part in cars -- with gold concealed deep inside it. 

Gold worth Rs 1.40 crore, weighing 4.37 kg, was confiscated from a passenger who was coming from Ahmedabad. 

Officials said the passenger, had flown in from Dubai. Based on specific inputs, his check-in luggage was examined for dutiable goods. During these searches, officials found automobile spare parts.

Further inquiries revealed that three gold rings were moulded inside the hollow cavity of the automobile parts. The cartel managed to hide 4.37 Kg worth of gold inside it.
It was tough to believe that the precious metal was hidden inside used, greased clutch plates of a car. 

Smugglers had tactfully concealed the gold to avoid suspicion. These spare parts cost Rs 5000-8000 in the market.

Interestingly, fearing a crackdown by the customs department, these carriers did not come directly to Delhi from Dubai but took a detour to Ahmedabad from where the carrier brought the gold to Delhi.

The Customs department has alerted other agencies and airports to keep an eye on such suspicious items. 

In a separate case, customs officers intercepted a 40-year-old man who arrived from Bangkok. A detailed search of his trolley bag led to the recovery of over 800 grams of gold worth Rs 26.81 lakh

“The smuggler had coated the gold with silver colour and had concealed it inside the lining of the trolley bag. It is almost impossible to detect it,” said a senior officer.

In the past, such gangs hid their consignments in kitchen appliances such as mixer-grinder, microwave, portable car washer, oven and even washing machine and other gadgets to avoid suspicion.