Following the steep rise in gold prices, Customs authorities at the city airport have had to keep a tight vigil, to thwart attempts of gold smuggling.
The Customs authorities have already booked two cases in the last week, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Commissioner of Customs, Mumbai airport, PM Govande told the Hindustan Times:“We are keeping vigil and could expect more instances.”
In the latest case on Thursday, officials at the Mumbai airport seized Rs4.5lakh worth gold ornaments from a 35-year-old city resident. He aroused the suspicion of the Customs officials, as there was an uneasy look on his face.
A batch headed by deputy commisioner of Customs, Sameer Wankhede, stopped him while he was crossing the green channel— meant for those who have no goods to declare — on arrival from Dubai at 5.30pm.
On checking his trouser pockets, the authorities found gold ornaments, including bangles and rings, weighing 160 gram. Though he said that the incident was an accident, officials suspect that the passenger deliberately did not declare the gold to avoid payment of duty at the rate of 36%. He was allowed to go after his statement was recorded, but the gold was seized.
A senior Customs official, requesting anonymity, said that that various Customs batches at the airport have been alerted and asked to keep watch on passengers arriving, especially from Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah and Sharjah.