Gold worth Rs 113 crore seized by customs at Delhi airport in 2018
Gold worth Rs 113 crore was seized from smugglers at the Delhi airport in 2018 — more than double the gold recovered in 2017.Updated: Jan 07, 2019 09:28 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Southeast Asian countries seem to have become the new hub of gold smuggling to India, data released by the Customs department suggests.
The data released on Wednesday shows that gold worth Rs 113 crore was seized from smugglers at the Delhi airport in 2018 — more than double the gold recovered in 2017. Senior officials said at least 25% to 30% of these cases had links to southeast Asian countries.
As per the data,340 cases of gold smuggling were reported in 2018. The customs seized 402.48 kilograms of gold, valued at Rs 113.83 crore and arrested 262 persons. In 2017, there were 215 cases of gold smuggling at the Delhi airport. The customs officials seized 242.5 kilograms of the yellow metal in these cases and arrested 143 people.
Deputy commissioner customs, IGI airport, Kalrav Mishra said, “Last year we busted many smuggling syndicates originating from Singapore and Bangkok. Gold smugglers mostly come from these two cities,” Mishra said.
He said apart from this, the seizures and cases doubled as the customs at Delhi airport increased its resources and manpower in 2018. “We also intensified our surveillance,” he said.
“The increase in gold smuggling cases show that people still consider it as a safe investment option. There is a strong need to deter people from opting for illegal methods to acquire gold,” said Anubha Sinha, joint commissioner, customs, IGI airport.
The customs data also shows that 57 cases of smuggling of foreign currencies were registered during 2018, in which forex worth Rs 22.27 crore was seized. As many as 38 people were arrested in these cases, it said.
In 35 cases of forex smuggling during 2017, a total of 18 persons were arrested and foreign currencies worth Rs 10.75 crore was seized, the data shows.
In a statement, the customs said while there were no cocaine seizures during 2017, three foreigners were arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, during 2018.
These cases involved the seizure of 2.35 kilograms of cocaine worth approximately Rs 13.50 crore in the international narcotics market, the data mentioned.
First Published: Jan 03, 2019 11:51 IST