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“Suspected gold smuggling ; Customs officer smashes “Dh200,000 worth” watch

Kozhikode ; A passenger’s watch worth Rs 48 lakhs was smashed into pieces by custom executives at the Kozhikode airport in Kerala on doubt that gold was ducked inside the watch. Muhammad Ismail, a resident of Bhatkal, has complained to the customs officials at the Calicut police station.

It is stated that Muhammad Ismail went to Dubai on a one-month visit visa, where his brother owns a business. On March 3, when he arrived at Kozhikode airport in Kerala on the pretense of taking a cheaper fare ticket on return to Bhatkal, Custom officials asked him to remove his watch and speculated that he was attempting to smuggle gold by hiding in the watch. Officials held his watch in a room, where they crushed it into pieces with a hammer. When nothing was found, the parts of the watch were put on a plate and gave back to the passenger. Notifying his expensive watch split into pieces, shocked Muhammad Ismail, asked how the Custom authorities could return the costliest watch in such a condition, asking that his watch be replaced to him in good shape. It is discovered that as soon as the top Customs officials came to know about the event, they too were attempting to disassemble the watch. It is determined that the officials proposed Rs 10 lakhs to resolve the matter, but Muhammad Ismail gave the receipt of the watch bought from Dubai and demanded Rs 48 lakh or return of the original watch.

Upon learning of the incident, a social worker from Calicut, shared the whole incident on social media and asked the question asking how can a person smuggle gold in a watch which weighs hardly 100 grams? After the news spread on social media, Kerala’s news channels also came into action. On social media, people have asked how many kilos of gold can be hidden in a watch that weighs 100 grams? People are not only expressing shock at the move of the Customs officials but also showing concern whether it was possible to smuggle gold in a watch? KM Basheer’s Facebook post has been seen by around one million people so far with 19,000 people have shared it and around 2,000 people have posted their impressions.

It is learned that the watch was given to Ismail by his brother Ibrahim, who lives in Dubai, who bought it from the second-hand market in 2017 for 2,26,000 dirhams (approximately Rs. 48 lakhs). The watch was used by Ibrahim since then when Ismail was on his way back to Bhatkal, Ibrahim gave over the watch to Ismail. As there is no tax on the used watch, the customs officials crushed the watch on suspicion of smuggling gold.

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In this regard, Ismail’s brother Ibrahim expressed his suspicion that when the Customs officials took the watch from his brother’s hand and took it inside the room, they might have put it inside and displayed the other broken watch in the dish because the watch was not broken in front of Ismail. The value of this brand new watch called ‘AUDEMARS PIGUET’ is more than Rs 60 lakhs. Since he had bought a second-hand watch, he got this watch for around Rs. 48 lakhs.

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