The officers of the Air Intelligence unit at Cochin International Airport have seized two gold chains weighing 229.64 grams, worth Rs 6 lakh, from a Sri Lankan national.
According to the Customs authorities, Mohammed Zarook Syed Ahmed tried to smuggle the gold by concealing the ornaments underneath his collared shirt.
“This modus operandi is often adopted, mainly by Lankans arriving from Colombo, after the Indian Government increased the customs duty for gold.
The duty evasion attempted for 229.64 grams of gold is Rs 80,000 and the total profit margin without payment of duty will be around Rs 1 lakh,” customs officials said.
As per the rules, foreigners are not permitted to import gold or gold ornaments and they are not allowed to pay duty for the same.
“As per Baggage Rules, only Indian nationals are permitted to import gold ornaments. A male passenger can import duty free gold ornaments worth Rs 50,000 and a female passenger can bring in duty free gold worth up to Rs 1 lakh. Any Indian national who has stayed abroad for more than six months can import gold bullions weighing a total of one kg and the duty will amount to Rs 3 lakh,” customs officials said.
The team involved in the operation included Customs Deputy Commissioner S A S Navaz, `superintendents Koshy Alex, N G Jaison and inspectors Molaydas, Ashutosh and Siddharth Sharma.