Once an illegal consignment of gold is confiscated from a smuggler, it is despatched to the strong room of the customs department at the T2 until the matter is forwarded to the adjudicating authority.

Later, a show-cause notice is issued to the person, who is expected/asked to submit his or her reply to the customs. After the officer issues directives, a disposal order is issued by the seizing unit (AIU) to the disposal department of customs, and the disposal procedure commences.

Becoming legitimate
The gold is sealed and transported from the strong room to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) mint, where it is smelted and converted into standard gold bars of 999.95 purity. The RBI resends the gold to the customs department.

A customs official said, “As per the procedure, it is ensured that the gold is handled with extra care.” Giving an example, he explained, “If 20 kilograms of gold is to be sent to the mint, an official note informing the bank is despatched beforehand. After the yellow metal is delivered to them, bank officials send us a note confirming that the said quantity of gold has been received.”

The gold bars are then forwarded to the bullion branch of the State Bank of India (SBI) for sale via auctioning process. Explaining the process, a customs officials said, “The SBI floats tenders and all the registered bidders can take part in the auction. They submit their bids to confirm their participation.

The bidder with the highest submission walks away with the gold on the payment of amount. After deducting its service charge, the bank remits the net amount to the customs.”