Monday, January 21, 2019

Jaipur airport hotspot for gold smuggling

Jaipur: Jaipur airport seems to have caught the fancy of gold smugglers, as they are increasingly using the airport as a transit route to smuggle gold. According to the data available with the customs department, after a brief hiatus in 2017, at least 18 to 19kg of gold was seized by sleuths of customs in 2018, which was worth nearly Rs seven crore in the Indian market.

On Sunday, sleuths seized 540grams of gold in biscuit form, which was concealed in the rectum by a passenger travelling to Jaipur from Bangkok.

In 2015 and 2016, there was a sudden rise in the smuggling cases, in which Jaipur airport was used as a transit route to smuggle gold in India. However, the year 2017 did not have any considerable instances of such incidents. However, in the year 2018, smuggling cases from the airport surfaced again, with nearly 18 to 19kg of gold being seized in that year (till January 2019), which was worth nearly Rs seven crore.
On the spurt in smuggling, K K Singh, deputy commissioner, customs, talking to TOI, said, “There are several factors involved, including the import duty. Also, those involved in smuggling of gold keep changing the airports. In the year 2018, and even in January so far, a good amount of seizure was made by us. Only deterrence to smuggling is seizures and arrests.”
Officials of customs department added that Bangkok is emerging as a new smuggling centre after Dubai.
21/01/19 Ashish Mehta/Times of India