India faces growing gold smuggling problem

A saleswoman displays a gold necklace inside a jewellery showroom in Kolkata, India. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized 19kg of gold, concealed in brass pipes, worth $988,000 in April.
A saleswoman displays a gold necklace inside a jewellery showroom in Kolkata, India. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized 19kg of gold, concealed in brass pipes, worth $988,000 in April. PHOTO: REUTERS

Smugglers look to make a quick buck due to Indians' deep love for gold, high local prices

Indian Customs authorities have decided to press criminal charges against a 51-year-old Singapore Airlines senior steward who was arrested at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi for trying to smuggle in gold valued at 2.9 million rupees (S$57,200).

The steward, who was not named but identified by Customs sources as a Singaporean of Indian origin, was part of the cabin crew operating on Flight SQ402 on Jan 22 last year. He was arrested with 1,048g of gold and released the next day as smuggled goods valued at under 10 million rupees is a bailable offence.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2019, with the headline 'India faces growing gold smuggling problem'. Print Edition | Subscribe