Mumbai: Cases of gold smuggling at the two city airports have gone up over six times this year, as the Customs Department has recorded as many as 497 cases in four months from April, as compared to 79 cases in the corresponding period last year, officials said.
"Last year, between April and July, we had seized 61.46 kg gold, while this year till July we seized 403.52kg. In that period last year, we had registered 79 cases, while this year 497 cases have been registered till July," Milind Lanjewar, additional commissioner of Customs, Airport Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai Airport, said.
He claimed that there was a substantial rise in cases getting registered this year.
Yellow metal price rises "Increase in the prices of yellow metal is the main reason for the growing smuggling cases. Its demand has not come down and even there was no policy change in the budget," Lanjewar said.
The AIU sleuths today registered three cases of gold smuggling and seized 14.7 kg gold valued at Rs32.80 million and four persons were arrested, officials said. In the first case, two persons — Mohamed Akran and Mohammed Tanweez — were arrested and 2.465kg of gold worth Rs6.40 million seized.
Meanwhile, snapping a three-day rising streak, gold prices tumbled by Rs340 to Rs28,760 per 10gm in Delhi yesterday on selling by stockists against fall in demand at prevailing levels amidst a weak global trend.