Gold smugglers smile again

Jul 22, 2012, 09:33 IST | Bipin Kumar Singh

With gold prices sky-rocketing, smugglers abroad are smuggling gold into the country to encash profits

Rising gold prices have once again opened up the smuggling route for the yellow metal in India.

Twenty six year-old Abdul Salam, a gold carrier who was arrested by the Mumbai airport Customs with a gold consignment weighing more than 800 grams (156 gold chains) on Tuesday revealed that smugglers abroad are trying to exploit this situation like never before to encash larger profits. Interestingly, this is the third such consignment smuggled from Dubai to be intercepted in the country in the past one month.

“Salam has admitted his guilt and revealed that smugglers based abroad are trying to pump more and more gold through the air route as gold is cheaper in Dubai since gold is expensive here. This way, they can make a large profit,” a customs official from Mumbai airport told MiD DAY.

Salam, a resident of Bhatkal who works in Dubai, was intercepted by the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai Customs headed by it’s Deputy Commissioner, Sameer Wankhede, minutes after his entry into the green channel on Tuesday morning.

“The gold consignment was smartly concealed in his shoes. The estimated cost of this consignment is over Rs 20,00,000. He is booked under different sections and sub-sections of Indian Customs Act and currently under the custody of AIU for further interrogation,” the customs official further revealed.

On July 13, the AIU, Mumbai airport, intercepted a passenger who possessed two gold bricks weighing 100 grams each, coming from Dubai. Earlier, the Kolkata airport Customs, on June 21 intercepted a passenger from Dubai with 3.5 kg of gold concealed in his kneecap, based on the intelligence received from Mumbai.

When contacted, Commissioner, Mumbai Airport, P M Saleem, said, “We have found that gold is cheaper in the countries from which it is smuggled to India, making the margin bigger for the people involved.” 

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