Customs seize 70 kg gold

The kingpin in gold smuggling case was arrested with 14 others and charged under COFEPOSA

Ahmedabad: The Customs Department seized 70 kilograms gold from Ahmedabad International airport in the first ten months of current financial year, while it has decided to install new X-Ray machines at the airport for better vigilance of passengers.

Ahmedabad Customs Principal Commissioner Kumar Santosh told reporters here on Monday that, “Since the passenger profiling exercise is put in use the seizure ratio has increased at the airport.”

In July last, the department had seized some 24 kilogram of gold and during the investigation it was found that a smuggling racket had been going on for a long time and some 4,000 kilogram gold was smuggled into India.

“In this connection, the Customs have successfully arrested the kingpin in the case along with 14 others and all of them have been booked under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act (COFEPOSA) and showcause notices too have been issued to other 15 persons.”

The Principal Commissioner refused to divulge names of those issued notices as it could hamper investigations.
He said in all the seizures, the carriers were Indian passengers and had boarded flights either from Middle East airports like Dubai, Sharjah, Oman, Kuwait and Bangkok.

With the increase in the number of seizures, the department feels the need to replace X-Ray machines with the latest equipment. The department has also requested the Ahmedabad airport authority to install at least 30 to 40 more CCTV cameras in the customs area at the airport.

After gold smuggling, the recent trend is of smuggling endangered wild species like marmosets, red-handed tamarinds, squirrels and iguana. He said after one such seizure at Chennai airport, the Ahmedabad customs have increased vigil at the airport.