The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Indian Customs and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has sought help from retired and experienced Customs officers to curb increasing incidents of gold smuggling acts. With smugglers reinventing the tactics of yester years, the Indian Customs have decided to impart necessary training for its staff at various airports.
The government’s crackdown on gold imports dried up the official gold imports into the country. The acute shortage of gold in the country triggered illegal gold imports. The huge gap between supply and demand for the precious metal is partly being filled by illegal traffickers who buy gold overseas at a cheaper rate and sells it to domestic jewellers or bullion agents by evading tax.
According to estimates provided by DRI, smuggled gold to the tune of 500 kilogram per day enters the country, out of which only 1% to 5% is caught by authorities. A rough calculation implies that the monthly illegal imports of gold into the country amount to nearly Rs 4,500 crores at the current market price.
Smuggled gold pours into the country mainly from Dubai, Bangkok and Singapore. Increased number of incidents was reported on smuggling across land borders with Nepal and Bangladesh during the quarter.
AIU officials stated that smugglers nowadays resort to innovative gold smuggling techniques including carrying the gold in the rectum, moulding the bars into accessories like belts or bag handles and then painting them with different colour and carrying the metal by concealing it inside electronic devices such as transistors and torches.