Author: Paul Ploumis
MUMBAI (Scrap Monster): Gold smuggling in India surged significantly higher during 2014. The seizure of smuggled gold increased nine-fold when compared with the previous year. Despite fall in gold demand in the country, smuggling seems to be rampant at major airports across the country.
Customs officials at the Karipur International Airport in Southern India seized gold bars weighing approximately nine kilograms. The gold worth approximately Rs 2.50 crores were seized from a passenger who arrived at the airport from Dubai. Nine gold bars, each weighing one kilogram each was found concealed in a rechargeable fan and an emergency lamp. The passenger was identified as Sadat, a city resident who arrived at the airport by an Air India Express flight at 5.15 am early morning.
A day before, customs officials had seized Rs 15 lakhs of gold from a passenger who arrived from Sharjah. Earlier in December 2014, gold weighing almost 10 kilograms were seized from a passenger. According to Assistant Commissioner of Customs, gold smuggling bids have seen phenomenal rise during the past few months.
Meanwhile, Coimbatore International Airport recorded its biggest ever gold haul when Customs and Central Excise officials seized 5 kilograms of gold. The officials who acted based on a tip-off recovered four gold bars each weighing one kilogram and 10 gold bars each weighing 100 gram from his luggage trolley. The gold worth Rs 1.26 crores was found wrapped in denim cloth. The officials also recovered Rs 2 lakhs cash from the passenger.
According to customs data, gold weighing 12.5 kilograms were seized in 10 different incidents at the Coimbatore Airport during 2014.