Gold smuggling: Largest seizures from Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Kerala airports

Gold worth at least Rs 9,661.60 crore has been seized by agencies like Customs and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in over 29,000 cases on suspicion of smuggling in the past ten years with the largest number of seizures reported from Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Kerala.

The Customs field formations and DRI have seized gold in 29,506 instances between 2012 and June 2022 across the country, of which 1,543 were reported in the first six months of this year.

According to official data placed by the Ministry of Finance in Lok Sabha recently, Tamil Nadu topped the list with 7,722 cases in ten years followed by Maharashtra (7,047) and Kerala (5,080).

If one takes the first six months of 2022, Kerala tops the list with 470 cases of gold seizure in smuggling cases followed by Tamil Nadu (435) and Maharashtra (177).

During this period, there were 1,608 seizures of gold in smuggling cases in Karnataka. While the highest number of seizures was in 2018 (242), this year so far saw 33 seizures.

The highest number of seizures were in 2018 when the agencies seized gold at 4,511 instances followed by 2019 when there were 4,287 such instances. In 2018, the highest number of cases was in Maharashtra (1570) while in 2019, it was Tamil Nadu (1186).

In the past 10 years, the Ministry said, the Enforcement Directorate recorded 15 cases under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and has taken up 29 cases under Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 related to gold smuggling.

Under FEMA, the ED has seized gold weighing 26.97 kg worth Rs 10.5 crore while under PMLA, it has attached proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 18.88 crore has been attached in two cases.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been given four cases of gold smuggling and chargesheet has been filed in all the cases.

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