Lonely Planet Writer

£77,000 in gold found under Air India plane seat

A haul of gold bullion worth £77,000 has been found under the seat of an Air India flight at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Shamshabad, the main airport for Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

Inside an Air India plane.
Inside an Air India plane. Image by Stefan Krasowski / CC BY 2.0

The smuggled gold was discovered after a tip-off when the flight landed after a flight from Dubai, and is the fifth haul recovered from a Dubai-Shamshabad flight in the last six weeks. India is experiencing a gold smuggling epidemic, as dealers try to avoid high import duties in the world’s largest consumer of gold. Similar incidents have been reported from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, fuelled by the same difference in gold prices between India and the Gulf. The gold is typically hidden by a smuggler inside an airplane seat, and then retrieved by a second person at the destination.

Read more: dailymail.co.uk