This was the biggest seizure of gold from a passenger at the Coimbatore Airport this year: Commissioner of Central Excise

Customs officials seized 2.23 kg gold worth Rs. 68.11 lakh from a passenger at the Coimbatore Airport on Sunday.

Commissioner of Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax, Coimbatore, A.K. Raghunathan, told presspersons here on Sunday that this was the biggest seizure of gold from a passenger at the Coimbatore Airport this year.

Shavaz Asraf (24) is from Kasargod in Kerala and works as a salesman at a textile shop in Sharjah. He came to Coimbatore on Sunday by the Air Arabia flight. On suspicion, the Customs officials examined him and seized the gold. He had two gold bars each weighing one kg and two gold plates each weighing 116 gm. He had rolled the bars in adhesive tape and concealed it in his under garment.

Gold imports have reduced this year because of the regulations by the Reserve Bank of India. Hence, some individuals are trying to smuggle in gold. So far this year, 5.32 kg of gold worth Rs. 1.61 crore has been seized by the Customs officials at the Coimbatore Airport. The department has almost doubled the manpower at the airport and trained them, he said.

Mr. Raghunathan said that gold imports by banks have reduced this year. In 2012-2013, 31 tonnes of gold were imported in Coimbatore. This year, it has reduced to nearly 12 tonnes. Customs revenue because of gold import was Rs. 395 crore last year and it has come down to Rs. 251 crore this financial year. The total Customs revenue in Coimbatore Commissionerate last year was Rs. 400 crore and it is about Rs. 190 crore this year.

The Commissionerate paid Rs. 150 crore as drawback (Customs and Excise) between April and January last financial year and this year it has increased to Rs. 210 crore.

While the overall exports have increased from the region, gold imports have reduced, explained Minu Pramod, Additional Commissioner of Customs.

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