New Delhi: For the first time in the history of gold smuggling in India, the seizure in illicit trade has crossed Rs 1,000 crore mark in one financial year with customs, police and revenue agencies seizing more than 3,500 kg of gold in 2014-15. In 2012-13, the same figure stood at merely Rs 100 crore with just about 350 kg gold seized. In two years–since government increased duty on gold to 10% to rein in a yawning current account deficit—gold smuggling has grown by 900%, reports The Times Of India.
That as an accepted principle seizures could be less than 10% of actual smuggling, the figures look even more ominous.
Sources say gold has also begun to be smuggled in ever unique ways and from rather unexpected corners. There is a silver lining to the grim story though. There is an unexpected drop in Nepal which had seen a massive spurt in gold smuggling in the past couple of years. The reason: the kingpin of illicit yellow metal trade in the Himlayan nation died under the rubble of his house in Kathmandu during the recent quake.
Nepal, which normally sees seizures of around 80-100kg of gold a year saw the figures more than double in 2013-14, due to rise in duty of gold import in India. The rise was explained by agencies as smugglers pushing in gold from Dubai, Thailand and China into Nepal to be brought to India as traditional channels were being more vigorously monitored.