Attari checkpost along Pakistan border witnesses surge in gold smuggling

  • | Wednesday | 4th October, 2023

AMRITSAR: The Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari has been witnessing a surprising surge in gold smuggling from Pakistan as passengers seek to capitalize on the opportunity for substantial profits. In recent days, authorities at the ICP seized approximately 2.5kg of pure gold, valued at around Rs 1.52 crore, from six passengers arriving on foot from Pakistan.Kerala: Customs seize 5.4 kg of gold paste from passengers at Calicut AirportJoint Customs commissioner Joginder Singh expressed astonishment at this emerging trend of gold smuggling. The motivation behind this illicit trade appears to be the significant price difference in Pakistan and India. For instance, on Tuesday, 1 gram of 24k gold in Pakistan was priced at PKR 17,301, while in India, it stood at Rs 5,688. This price gap represents a considerable saving of approximately PKR 1,980 (Rs 584) for those engaging in cross-border gold transactions.Local sources in the gold market noted that the allure of substantial profits has driven some passengers to take the risk of smuggling gold from Pakistan. Many Pakistani nationals seem to have purchased gold in advance at lower prices.The joint commissioner of Customs acknowledged that gold smuggling by passengers is a new and emerging trend. The confiscated gold at ICP, Attari was cleverly concealed as jewelry items, such as rings, bracelets, and chains, worn by Pakistani passengers.Legally, female and male individuals entering India from abroad are allowed to bring in 40 grams and 20 grams of gold, respectively, with values not exceeding Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50,000. Any gold exceeding these limits is subject to confiscation under the Customs Act, 1962, and the individuals responsible are issued notices and penalties.Similarly, authorities at Sri Guru Ramdas Ji International Airport recently seized 3.4 kg of gold, valued at around Rs 1.95 crore. Most of the confiscated gold was from "couriers" arriving from Dubai and Sharjah, who employed various concealment methods such as hiding gold in bottle caps, water bottles, luggage trolleys, clothing, and even ingesting gold coins. Couriers were reportedly paid around Rs 20,000 per trip for their smuggling activities.

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