With two months left for the year to end, the Mumbai Airport Customs is confident of setting a record this year by seizing one ton of gold in its interceptions at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.
Having already surpassed last year’s figure of 346 kilograms several months ago, Customs has increased its surveillance at both the international and domestic terminals of the airport.
Over the past three years, gold seizures have risen steadily, said a Customs officer. The figures stood at 63 kg in 2012 and 346 kg in 2013. This year, Customs crossed 346 kg in July itself.
In the entire 2013 financial years, we had seized 340 kilos of gold. In the first half of this financial year however, we have already seized 633.2 kilogram, said the officer.
After an Indian passenger was intercepted at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport with four kg of gold on Tuesday morning, Customs’ seizure tally for the current financial year now stands at 815 kg, valued at Rs 203.75 crore.
Officials said that 497 cases of smuggling were registered in the first three months of the current financial year, leading to 403.52 kg of gold being seized, as opposed to 61.46 kilos of gold seized in 79 cases in the last financial year.
Much of the increase in seizure cases has been attributed to the 10% import duty of gold. These qualitative restrictions have made it profitable to smuggle gold into the country.