Customs officers put brakes on wheelchair ‘gold smuggler’
Officials say businessman pretended to be disabled to avoid scrutiny
A Gujarati businessman who allegedly pretended to be disabled in an attempt to evade scrutiny while smuggling eight gold bars into Mumbai from Dubai was intercepted by customs officers on Wednesday.
Customs officers at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport felt something was “fishy” about Jamnagar-based Nimisha Gudhka, who asked for a wheelchair and a person to assist him upon landing, apparently hoping that he would be waved right through. However, customs officers, whose suspicions were aroused by his body language, searched him and found he was carrying 660 grams of gold worth Rs19.8 lakh (US$31,000).
A customs official was quoted as saying, “It was a gamble he played. His presumption was we would be lenient towards him, considering his handicap.”
When he was questioned, he confessed to carrying gold for his family and admitted he was not disabled. Once the gold was seized and he was processed, he walked out of the airport.
Gudhka has been charged with smuggling.