The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) has seen a surge in gold smuggling and in a majority of cases, the smuggler is only a carrier sent by a syndicate, customs officials said here today.
During the last financial year 2014-15, attempts were made to smuggle 127.67 kg of gold valued at Rs 31.98 crore through the Hyderabad International Airport at Shamshabad here wherein 125 cases of gold smuggling were registered and 40 persons arrested for smuggling of gold, a release issued here by the office of the Assistance Commissioner of Customs (RGIA Hyderabad) said.
Regular passengers are being lured to smuggle gold into the country for a paltry sum of Rs 10,000 or 15,000 in addition to airfare, the release stated.
Indian passengers who have stayed abroad for more than a year are allowed to bring duty-free gold in the form of jewellery in their bonafide baggage upto an aggregate value of Rs 50,000 in the case of a male passenger or Rs 1,00,000 in the case of a female passenger, it said.
Importing gold and silver (in the form of tola bars or bars turned into crude designs) is restricted.
After staying abroad for six months, a person of Indian origin or an Indian national may bring gold upto 1 kg after paying a 10.3 per cent duty on the tariff value of the gold, as notified by the central government from time to time, the release said.
In cases where gold is brought in excess of provisions and declared to the Customs Department, a duty of 36.05 per cent is to be paid by the passenger, it said.
The Customs Act has empowered imposition of heavy penalties including arrest of passengers who attempt to walk through the Green Channel with prohibited, restricted or dutiable goods, it added.