Home » Sri Lanka to crack down on gold jewellery smuggling

Sri Lanka to crack down on gold jewellery smuggling

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In the wake of using the Sri Lanka-Tamil Nadu gold smuggling corridor increasingly by smugglers, the Government has issued an Extraordinary Gazette notification restricting over 22 carats of gold as jewellery brought into the country.

This directive follows the Tamil Nadu Intelligence Bureau’s signaling that there would be a rise in such activities considering the turmoil in Sri Lanka.

A Tamil Nadu official said that countries such as Sri Lanka and Malaysia are the main sources of gold that is being brought into India.

The customs officials have found that smuggling in a kilogram of gold into India fetches Rs 6 lakh. Moreover the ones smuggling it into India are paid around Rs 40,000 per consignment. Their air fares are also taken care of the TNIB probe revealed

On a daily basis at least Rs 70 lakh of gold is being smuggled into Tamil Nadu from the above mentioned countries, the probe further revealed.

An Intelligence Bureau official noted that while the smuggling racket between Sri Lanka and India is nothing new, it has increased in the past couple of month at least by 5 fold.

Indian officials are also looking at whether the money being generated by this racket is being used to fund terror and other anti national acts.

Meanwhile “several cases of gold smuggling into Sri Lanka were also reported during the recent period under the guise of wearing the gold jewellery upon entering the country,” the Finance, Economic Ministry in a statement issued yesterday noted.

Sri Lanka has directed its custom department to take stringent measures to stop gold smuggling into the country by airlines passengers in a bid to prevent illegal business of the yellow metal,

The customs officials have been instructed to deploy technology to detect gold over 22 carat.

Over 50 kilos of gold are being smuggled into the country by unscrupulous racketeers. Estimated that over 30 million dollars are being lost monthly to the national coffers.

The restriction is to be imposed sequel to a report provided by the Director General of Customs, Siyambalapitiya said.

Siyambalapitiya has assured that Sri Lankan expats returning or any ordinary passengers would not be affected as the regulation would only target the gold smugglers.

Sri Lanka Customs officials at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake recently arrested five Sri Lankan passengers attempting to smuggle gold worth over Rs. 400 million

According to Customs officials this is the second biggest gold stock nabbed by them in the history of Sri Lanka Customs.

The raid had been conducted on intelligence information received by the Finance Ministry from Intelligence Agencies in India.

Customs seized 22 kg of rough gold jewellery and gold powder worth over Rs. 400 million in the possession of the passengers who arrived from Chennai.

The Customs said they seized painted gold ornaments, gold powder and gold-plated clothes from the luggage of the passengers.

It added that an organised group of people are engaged in gold smuggling activities on a daily basis due to the lack of restrictions on carrying gold into the country.

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