Cat and mouse games between gold smugglers and law enforcement authorities The cat and mouse games between gold smugglers and law enforcement authorities in India are getting interesting and intensified, thanks to the government’s move to impose more restricts on gold imports. Ever since the Reserve Bank of India and the Finance Ministry of the Central government announced a series of stringent curbs against gold imports, smugglers have been using ‘innovative’ ways to bring in gold into India. According to the data available, smugglers who were arrested in the recent past have used the following devices to smuggle gold-- mobile phones (replacing the battery with gold biscuit), thermos flasks (replacing silver foil with gold foil), keys (made of gold with silver coating), electric shaver (made of gold with silver coating), torches (replacing batteries with gold), suitcase beadings (using gold beading with silver coating), footwear (making a hole in the footwear which is normally not scanned by customs officers), hot plates (replacing springs and coil with golden springs and golden coils) and food packets, etc. Says World Gold Council’s chief executive officer (CEO) Aram Shishmanian, “curbs imposed by the government of India have led to 150-200 tonnes of gold being smuggled into the country. In other words, potential revenue of $1 billion was lost in terms of taxes.” Prize catches by authorities are made at various airports across the country, including Chennai. People in the southern city, which is the capital of Tamil Nadu, are known for their love towards the yellow metal and Chennai gold rate is one of the attractive and competitive in the whole of the country. To keep their prices low and to face the Chennai gold rate competition, some of the jewelers are encouraging these smugglers, it is learnt. However, there is no official confirmation in this regard, and this is just a gossip that is doing rounds in industry circles. “Chennai gold rate is something which is always under pressure due to various internal and external factors. So jewelers have to keep themselves competitive and they always to announce attractive offers to woo customers,” says a trade analyst. The analyst, who has been tracking the gold business for over three decades, further says, “Because of the intense competition, some jewellers might resort to such activities (lending support to gold smugglers). But one should arrive into conclusions before any official action is taken against such offenders.” Meanwhile, the World Gold Council will release its quarterly Gold Demand Trends report in the third week of this month. “The report will review in detail the demand trends
of gold all over India. It will be a must-read for all those interested in the gold trade,” says the analyst. The World Gold Council is the market development organisation for the gold industry. Working within the investment, jewellery and technology sectors, as well as engaging in government affairs, its purpose is to provide industry leadership, whilst stimulating and sustaining demand for gold. Based in the UK, with operations in India, the Far East, Europe and the USA, the World Gold Council is an association whose 23 members comprise the world’s leading gold mining companies. WGC, as it is popularly called by stakeholders, World Gold Council develops goldbacked solutions, services and markets, based on true market insight. As a result, it creates structural shifts in demand for gold across key market sectors. Coming back to the smuggling story, Dubai is being viewed as one of the important destinations from where gold is being illegally brought into India. “Agents spot ‘carriers’. The carries fly to Dubai. After spending few days there under the guise of tourist or someone else, they return with gold hidden in soles of shoes, inside rods of trolley bags, inside cavities of emergency lights and in some cases, even in the rectum,” says a report, quoting government officials. For more details; Contact, Chennai.GoldrateLive.Com is continually growing, and to ensure that we are always giving you exactly what you want we would love to hear any feedback you may have. It may be about our website, our service, or any new features you would like to see us include
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Published on Feb 23, 2014
Prize catches by authorities are made at various airports across the country, including Chennai. People in the southern city, which is the c...