Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Customs on toes as gold smuggling on rise

Dabolim: Sneaking in gold through Goa has remained a matter of grave concern for the Customs department for some time now.Smugglers have been innovative. They have either moulded the smuggled gold into luggage parts or have used new methods to try and give the Customs department a slip. And for this, the department has had to switch gears to remain “battle ready” for them.However, despite facing staff crunch and odd working hours (early morning shifts for international aircrafts), the officials of Goa Customs, still managed to foil nine such attempts in the last nine months.As per the statistics obtained from the Customs, from January 2016 till date, the Goa Customs has booked nine cases out of which five are related to seizure of assorted foreign currency whose total value is Rs 128.81 lakh, and four cases were related to seizure of gold weighing 13.02 kg and valued at Rs 3.61 crore.
The first seizure in 2016 was reported on March 24, when the Air Intelligence Unit of Goa Customs seized assorted currency worth lakhs of rupees from a passenger intending to fly abroad. The second case was on April 18, when another seizure of assorted currency was made. The third gold seizure incident was reported on April 24 and the fourth was reported on April 27, wherein Customs officials managed to seize seven kilogram of gold abandoned in a Qatar Airways aircraft Giving details about seizures in 2016, Joint Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise, Goa, S K Sinha said,
“The fourth case was reported on June 13 when our officials foiled another smuggling bid and seized gold from a passenger coming from abroad. On July 31, another seizure of assorted currency was made and on August 9 foreign currency worth Rs 7.06 lakh was seized. In same month that is on August 29, we foiled another smuggling bid of gold and seized 2.5 kg unclaimed gold worth Rs 70 lakh and the last seizure till date was reported on September 28, when we detected assorted foreign currencies worth Rs 25.6 lakh from the handbag of a Kerala native”.
04/10/16 Goacom
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