Foreign News: Smuggler's Delight

The Hong Kong -Calcutta -Karachi BOAC route was inevitably a temptation to smugglers. Hong Kong, for example, makes no check of outgoing baggage. And India, with its stable rupee and a middle class that likes to convert its savings into solid-gold jewelry for safekeeping (and dowries), has been the world's best market for contraband gold for centuries.

BOAC's crews in Asia, carrying only overnight cases, enjoying the semiofficial aura of their familiar dark blue uniforms, making frequent comings and goings, usually got casual treatment from customs officials. But last May Indian customs at Calcutta's Dum Dum airport found a 7-oz. gold bar...