Father-son duo intercepted for smuggling gold at Kolkata airport

ANI | Updated: Apr 06, 2018 23:03 IST

Kolkata, (West Bengal) [India] Apr 6 (ANI): In a bid to curb diversion in exports of Gold Jewellery, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) intercepted father-son duo at Kolkata airport on April 4 with 54 kg gold.

A duo was intercepted at Kolkata Airport with the gold jewellery. The son was intercepted when he was about to board a flight for Dubai, while his father was de-boarded from a flight destined to Hyderabad.

DRI is currently investigating gold jewellery exporters declaring exports using 'personal hand carry export procedure' to destinations in United Arab Emirates (UAE) but diverting the consignments into domestic market by manipulating the procedure.

Documents had earlier been filed by these persons at Customs Air Cargo Complex, Kolkata for export by hand carriage of gold bangles weighing 54 kgs to be carried to Dubai by the son on board flight bound for Dubai.

After the gold bangles were checked by Customs at Air Cargo Complex, Kolkata, as per procedure, the items were sealed and escorted by a Customs officer to the International Departure at the Airport.

Before entering immigration and security check, the son took the goods meant for export to an entry gate of the airport where his father was waiting and handed them over for diversion. The father then booked the two metal boxes containing the gold bangles through domestic Cargo for transfer to Hyderabad.

The DRI officials acted quickly and intercepted them as they were about to board their respective flights and retrieved two metal boxes containing the gold booked for Hyderabad as domestic cargo.

Surprisingly, the father was found to be travelling to Hyderabad from Kolkata on the ticket booked under his son's name.

The duo admitted to have diverted gold bangles and chains in similar manner in the past through Kolkata and Hyderabad airports after completion of the Customs export procedure.

The diverted gold bangles weighing 54 kgs are valued around Rs. 16 Crore meant, which were seized under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962.

Another associate of the duo was questioned by DRI, who admitted his involvement in the diversion.

The mastermind confessed to having received remittances against such export consignments though no actual gold bangles were physically exported. He used to send cash to his Dubai based contacts through hawala channels and got the money back into his Indian bank accounts as export proceeds.

He admittedly sold primary gold purchased from nominated agencies in the domestic market instead of making gold jewellery for export.

For fulfillment of their export obligation and to redeem the security amount paid by them to nominated agencies at the time of purchase of primary gold, they had resorted to diversion of gold bangles meant for export after completing all export formalities.

In fact the same sets of gold bangles were repeatedly used to show export of different consignments.

Three persons have been arrested under Section 104 of the Customs Act, 1962 on Friday for knowingly involving themselves in diverting gold jewellery after completing all the export formalities.

DRI investigations till now has revealed more than 500 kgs of gold jewellery valued at about Rs 150 Crore meant for export has been diverted using this modus operandi by this particular syndicate. The agency is investigating whether this modus operandi has been used by other gold jewellery exporters, in the country. (ANI)