HYDERABAD: The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) has seen a surge in gold smuggling in recent times, custom officials said here on Wednesday.
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 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.
During the course of interrogation of arrested passengers, it was revealed that regular passengers were lured to smuggle gold for a paltry sum of Rs 10,000 to 15,000 plus airfare by smuggling gangs based in Dubai, Singapore and other countries.
Indians staying abroad for more than a year are allowed to bring duty-free gold in the form of jewellery in their bonafide baggage up to an aggregate value of Rs 50,000 (in case of male passenger) or Rs 1,00,000 (in case of woman passenger).
Importing gold and silver (in the form of bars or bars turned into crude designs) is not allowed. A person of Indian origin or an Indian national after a stay of six months abroad can bring gold up to 1 kg on payment of duty of 10.3 per cent on the tariff value of the gold, the value of which is notified by the Central government, from time to time.
In case where the gold is brought in excess of the provisions and declared to customs, a duty of 36.05 per cent is to be paid by the passenger. Further, the Customs Act empowers imposition of heavy penalties including arrest for those passengers, who attempt to walk through the Green Channel with prohibited, restricted or dutiable goods.
Passengers are advised to note that they are permitted a baggage allowance of Rs 45,000 for a stay exceeding three days. However, the allowance is not applicable to flat panel (LCD/LED/Plasma) television.
One laptop computer (notebook computer) over and above free allowances is also allowed duty free if imported by any passenger above 18 years and above. Alcoholic liquor up to two litres per person is allowed to be imported within free allowance.
The goods over and above free allowances are generally chargeable to customs duty at 36.05 per cent,custom officials said.
Passengers are advised not to enter into agreements with smugglers without understanding the penal consequences.
Passengers should note that non-declaration, mis-declaration and concealment of imported goods is an offence under the Customs Act which may result in confiscation, fine, penalty, arrest and prosecution.