Gold smuggling continues to be rampant, even when advanced security systems have been deployed at airports. Gold smugglers know that their luggage will be scanned by x-ray machines. This is why they come up with ingenious techniques to beat the system. Here’s a look at some of the past cases of gold smuggling that reveal how to hide gold from airport scanners. This is just for informational purposes. We do not recommend using any of these techniques, as you could be spending years in jail if caught.
Gold in granular form
Smuggling gold in coins or bars will be easily identified by the x-ray scanner at airports. This is why smugglers are now moving gold in granular form. These are small sized granules, weighing around 1 gram each. These granules are then hidden inside everyday household items such as soap, shampoo, chocolate, chocolate syrup, etc.
Granules can also be hidden inside electronic items, toys, toffee boxes, etc. Small sized gold granules can fit in almost any item that is allowed at airports. These are difficult to identify by x-ray scanners at airports.
Gold in wire form
Wires are a common part of baggage at airports, as most people carry chargers for their smartphones, laptops and other electronic devices. Smugglers are now using this to their advantage by moving gold in wire form.
Transforming gold into wire form can be done easily, as gold is a highly malleable metal. The gold wires are then covered in special coating to make them look like standard wires used in households. In a recent case, smugglers were caught with gold wires covered with rhodium. Several other cases have also been reported.
Gold in paste form
This method is likely to require the expertise of a laboratory technician. Pure gold can be easily detected at airports, which is why smugglers are now changing the chemical composition of gold. This is done by dissolving gold in another chemical. Or even powdered gold can be mixed with liquids. The gold can later be recovered via a chemical process. In diluted form, gold will be difficult to detect at airports.
Gold inside body parts
This is usually done via the rectum, although there have been cases where people have been found smuggling gold inside their stomach. This method is usually utilized by professional smugglers, as doing such acts will be difficult for an ordinary person. It requires some practice to stuff gold in the rectum and move around without creating suspicion. Please note that many airports are now equipped with AI-based surveillance systems that can detect suspicious movements.
Gold smuggled by airport staff
In some cases, airport staff members have been found to be involved in smuggling of gold. Airport staff are well aware of the ins and outs of the airport and the security loopholes that may be present. These can be exploited to smuggle gold.
Gold smuggling via diplomatic channels
Baggage that has diplomatic seal is usually not checked. However, if there is solid information that gold is being smuggled, airport security agencies will be forced to act. Such cases are a big embarrassment for the country whose consulate staff members may be involved in gold smuggling.
Gold smugglers keep changing their methods of gold smuggling to avoid detection. It is a constant cat and mouse game between gold smugglers and security agencies. Use of advanced surveillance systems and higher punishment can help reduce gold smuggling. Removing or reducing import duties and taxes on gold can also curb gold smuggling.