Three attempts at smuggling diamond powder foiled at airport | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Three attempts at smuggling diamond powder foiled at airport

Diamond polishing powder is the latest attraction for the smuggling syndicates in Mumbai. At least three consignments caught last month by Customs have indicated this new trend. Manish Pachouly reports.

mumbai Updated: Mar 11, 2012 01:19 IST
Manish Pachouly

Diamond polishing powder is the latest attraction for the smuggling syndicates in Mumbai. At least three consignments caught last month by Customs have indicated this new trend.

The airport and air cargo Customs have made seizures of over Rs 35 lakh. Customs authorities at air cargo are now checking footages of CCTVs, as they suspect the syndicates were taking out the consignments that had come through courier in smaller quantities.

In one case it was found with a carrier who arrived from Sharjah, in the other cases the same was found in courier packages that came from Hong Kong. In one case, the consignment was declared as ‘synthetic grit’ and its value was given as Rs 10,700 even as the same was found to be worth Rs5 lakh.

Diamond polishing powder — powdered less expensive, industrial-grade diamonds — is used to cut diamonds by applying it on the diamond cutting machine. It costs Rs1 lakh per kg or more and attracts an import duty of 16%. The demand for the substance is huge, as India has the biggest diamond cutting and polishing industry, where imported rough diamonds are exported after cutting, assorting and polishing.

Officials suspect smuggling of diamond powder could be part of the hawala (illegal channel of transferring money) racket.