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22 February 2024

Indian arrested at Kerala airport with 3kg gold

By VM Sathish

An Indian passenger arriving at Karipur International Airport near Kozhikode in Kerala has been nabbed by the Air Customs Department for carrying three kilogrammes of gold by hiding it and not disclosing it to the customs authorities.

Sources said the passenger came from Dubai by an Air India Express flight and was nabbed by customs officials after a tip-off.

The passenger, KS, had concealed gold bars in a DVD player and an audio system.

Due to a hike in import duty on gold in India, there is now a considerable price difference between Indian and overseas gold prices, tempting people to carry more gold than permitted by law.

One kilogramme of gold can be imported by anyone who has stayed abroad for six months by paying 10 per cent customs duty and an education tax of three per cent. In the latest Indian budget, the maximum value of gold ornaments that a man can wear while coming to India was increased to Rs50,000 and to Rs100,000 for a female passenger.

The gold price in Dubai was Dh177.25 (Rs2,648) per gramme on Monday compared to Rs2,800 in India.

“So carrying three kilogrammes of gold without announcing it to the customs officials could have helped the passenger make a handsome profit,” said a jeweller in Dubai.

Gold smuggling was not profitable earlier when theprice difference between India and abroad was only marginal, but with new efforts by the Indian government to curb gold imports, the price difference is widening, tempting people to carry gold without declaring at the airport to the customs authorities.