BHUBANESWAR: Customs officials seized 13.77 kg gold worth `4.46 crore from Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here during the 2018-19 fiscal. As per the office of Chief Commissioner, GST/Central tax, Central excise and customs, Bhubaneswar zone, seven persons were also arrested for smuggling gold.Chief Commissioner Naresh Penumaka said, “On some occasions, people working abroad convert all their savings into gold when they return to the country. While some others are used as carriers. If a person is found to be carrying gold illegally amounting to `20 lakh or more then he/she can be arrested.”
Penumaka informed that Bhubaneswar zone surpassed its target of revenue collection in GST, Central excise and customs.“The total GST revenue collected in 2018-19 was `8,299 crore against the target of `5,590 crore. Similarly, `17,712 crore was collected from Central excise against the target of `17,620 crore. While `247 crore was collected from service tax towards pending arrears, `5,297 crore customs revenue was collected against the target of `5,110 crore,” Penumaka said.
The officials have also booked 54 cases of fake GST input invoices involving `183.19 crore during the same period. The zone has generated a revenue of `31, 555 crore during 2018-19 against `27,293 crore.
In a related development, officers of Air Intelligence Unit of Customs intercepted two passengers hailing from West Bengal and Jharkhand at the airport while carrying gold illegally.
The two passengers reached Bhubaneswar on Tuesday by boarding a flight from Bangkok. “Their luggage was searched and white colour gold rings were recovered. The seized gold weighs 278.83 grams and its worth is `9.08 lakh. Further investigation is on,” a customs official said.