Majority of gold from Dubai and Singapore smuggled into India

CHENNAI: With demand for gold increasing in the country, majority of gold from Dubai and Singapore are being smuggled into India due to the price differentiation, a senior Directorate of Revenue Intelligence official said.
DRI authorities over the recent past have seized several kilos of gold in Southern cities and last week 31.75 kg of gold valued at Rs 8.43 crore was seized at Madurai airport in Tamil Nadu.
The officials said due to the attraction towards purchase of gold in India, gold from Dubai and Singapore has become “at-tractive” for smugglers to buy and transport it to the country.
Gold smugglers or couriers of “smuggling gang” disguise themselves as genuine passengers to escape customs officials, he said.
“Dubai and Singapore are the major supply centres for gold market and most of the travellers in South India come from these two places via air, while majority of gold from Sri Lanka is smuggled through the sea route,” he said.
The rise in gold smuggling was due to increase in import duty and restrictions on the procurement of gold, making it an “attrac-tive” option, the official, who did not wish to be named, said.
“Increase in import duty of 10 per cent on gold brought through legal channels and restrictions in procurement has made its smuggling attractive, thereby witnessing an increase in gold smuggling,” he said.
The official said differences in exchange rate and the import duties across countries make gold a preferred metal for smuggling compared to other goods.
Giving an example, he said “there is a price difference of about Rs five lakh per kilogram of gold purchased in India as against in Dubai after paying the customs duty.” —PTI