International gold smugglers active in India, says official

Customs and Central Excise Commissioner S. Khader Rahman explaining the working of the network at a press conference in Vijayawada on Tuesday. —PHOTO: V. RAJU  

In a disclosure that is sure to flummox Customs and Central Excise officials, smugglers have confessed that international gold smugglers are active in India and huge quantity of non-duty paid yellow metal, worth crores of rupees, is being imported into the country.

Smugglers were importing gold from Dubai and Malaysia through flights to West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, a domestic smuggler, who was taken into custody, revealed during interrogation.

“According to the smugglers, the Customs, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), and the police are conducting raids on only 10 per cent of the smugglers and 90 out of every 100 smugglers are walking out from airports and railway stations without any check,” Commissioner of Customs Preventive Commissionerate S. Khader Rahman said. Explaining the modus operandi of the international smugglers, he said that they would book flights from Dubai and other countries to Kolkata, where they hand over the contraband to domestic smugglers, particularly women. The local smugglers pose themselves as families and transport gold jewellery through trains and flights up to Chennai, Mr. Rahman explained.

Since January 2015, the Customs and Central Excise officials seized about 13 kg of gold and arrested 12 persons (domestic smugglers) at different places in Andhra Pradesh.

“During investigation, it is revealed that in most of the cases the smugglers are operating from Dubai. Many fake insurance companies are floated in Dubai, which will provide 100 per cent insurance coverage if the smuggled product is seized at any point,” the Customs Commissioner said, adding that the international smugglers had a strong network with financiers, agents, insurance companies, carriers, and jewellery merchants across the globe.

A domestic smuggler, who was arrested in a case, confessed that gold was being smuggled in different modes of transport from Malaysia and more consignments were planned by the smugglers in the coming days, Mr. Rahman added.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 11:42:38 PM |

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