Source: Times Of India – Customs seize gold worth Rs 1.15 crore at IGI airport
Even as the rupee continues to slide, the ever-rising duty on gold imports to curb it is having a cascading effect on the smuggling of the yellow metal.
Customs authorities at IGI airport in Delhi on Saturday seized smuggled gold worth Rs 1.15 crore from a passenger coming from Singapore. Based on suspicion, the said passenger was searched and 31 gold bars were recovered from specially designed pockets in his trousers.
According to sources, on Saturday, while keeping surveillance on the passengers coming from Singapore sector, one passenger who arrived at IGI Airport from Singapore on flight No. SQ-406 was intercepted after he crossed the green channel.
The passenger’s movement was suspicious and customs authorities profiled him for further examination as it was suspected he may have been carrying goods for which duties were not paid. On detailed examination of his baggage, nothing objectionable was found. But on his personal search, 31 gold bars weighing 4077.5 grams were recovered from him.
The same were seized under Section 110 of the Customs Act, 1962 and the passenger was arrested under Section 104 of the act. The total value of the gold biscuits is assessed to be Rs. 1.15 crore. Sources said further investigations were under progress to find out who he was going to deliver the gold biscuits to.
Import duty on gold now stands at 10%, a 1000% increase in the past couple of years. To plug a yawning current account deficit which has been pushing the rupee down constantly government has been consistently increasing import duty on gold to discourage buyers from investing into it. This has led to a wide gap between prices abroad (where duty is just around one per cent) and India leading to rampant smuggling of the yellow metal. Financial agencies have reported over 200 consignments of gold seized in the past couple of months alone.