Many don’t know, but India is the world’s largest consumer of gold. Time and time again, people try their luck with smuggling gold out of the country. Back in 2013, there was a high tax or duty introduced to the country. The reason for the new tax hike was in a jurisdiction with the government trying to curb the high demand for the precious metal. However, to avoid paying the taxes, people lean towards smuggling.
Below are some interesting facts on smuggling gold:
When it comes to smuggling items, gold is number 5 on the list. Others include food, money, and cigarettes. However, the number one item that people smuggle is human beings!
Every day, India sees about 700kg of gold smuggled into its country. For two decades, the Financial Intelligence Unit says that there hasn’t been a massive rise in gold smuggling. People have come up with creative ways to smuggle the precious metal into the country. For example, some melt gold into the size of seeds and stuff them into fruits. Or, they may grind it into very fine pieced and mix it into other metals. Not too long ago, a businessman from India became ill after swallowing 12 gold bars he was trying to smuggle.
According to reports from Business Today, during 2013-2014, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence was able to seize $40,799,850 worth of gold. Those who work for airports or customs have seen a plethora of ways people have tried to smuggle gold. Beside the swallowing incident, smugglers may hide the wheels of their trollies. Also, they may try to disguise the precious metal as decorative beading on their handbags. Some smuggle the gold in their mobile devices. Other common ways of hiding the gold are inside of laptops, shoes, socks, or as many know, body cavities.
One of the most significant gold smuggling cases in India came about by two women. One of the women was a crew member for the Emirates Airline. Officials were able to catch them at the Rajiv Gandhi Airport in Hyderabad, India. The Emirates crew member was posing as an ordinary off-duty passenger, except that she was hiding 13kg of gold bars in her dress. The second woman was caught with 2.7 kg of gold bars in her luggage.