Pune: The customs officials at the Pune airport will soon get two imported scanner machines, which will help them perform better scanning of the baggage of fliers. The Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, New Delhi has approved the proposal which was given recently by the Pune customs officials.
The officials already have two scanners at the airport which was provided by the Airport Authority of India in September. These machines have already been set up at the departure and arrival area.
“We have placed two machines — one for arrival area and another one at the departure area. Recently we got two machines from AAI, along with the earlier two machines. All four help us to detect metal objects hidden in the baggage of international passengers,” said a highly placed customs officer.
The new machines will be able to scan any object inside a bag from all possible angles, the official said, adding that the clearer image outputs will help them identify gold even if it is coated with rhodium —a practice adopted by many to smuggle in the yellow metal through the Pune airport.
The officer said, “Besides if the bag is placed horizontally on the machine, the image is horizontal. We are yet to know all the features of the new machines. We have come to know that these machines will be able to differentiate between a heavy and light metal object. Also, the colour output will be different.”
The airport witnessed a number of gold smuggling bids. “It will be easier for us to intercept such attempts once the new machines reach us from New Delhi,” another official said.
According to an officer, it has been observed that in recent time gold is being smuggled from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Pune. “We check every bags, sometimes the machines give us metal images but during back to back checks, we find nothing. So have we decided to send a proposal and ask the authority to provide much better machines for airport,” said the officials.