Every now and then, we hear stories of how drug traffickers and gold smugglers around the world adopt bizarre ways to smuggle illegal things from one place to another. And now in the Covid-19 era, a man thought that a mask would be a wonderful place to hide the yellow metal!Also Read - Rare Shiva Statue From 9th Century Which Was Stolen From Rajasthan & Smuggled to UK, To be Returned to India

Taking advantage of the new air travel guidelines due to COVID-19, a man concealed about 40 grams valued at Rs 2 lakh, behind the exhalation valve of his (KN-95) face mask, Times of India reported.

Notably, the man named Ammar, a native of Karnataka had arrived in a flight from Dubai on Tuesday evening. However, his plan wasn’t successful as customs officials at Calicut International Airport foiled his smuggling attempt and subsequently arrested him.

“It is the first time we are seeing such concealment tactics and it shows that smugglers try to exploit every possibility, even the one provided by the Covid-19 crisis,” a Customs official at the airport told TOI.

Such cases are on the rise as a day before too, a passenger who arrived from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia had concealed 250 grams of gold worth Rs 12 lakh in an iron box.

Official data has revealed how there has been a 207 percent increase in gold smuggled through various airports in last 4 years.