CBEC seeks report from Customs on Rs 2.92 cr missing gold

New Delhi: Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has sought a report from Customs department on the disappearance of gold worth Rs 2.92 crore, which was seized from smugglers, from its warehouse at the Delhi airport.

CBEC supervising in-charge of Delhi Customs Zone, Najib Shah
CBEC supervising in-charge of Delhi Customs Zone, Najib Shah

The CBEC, apex policy making body for central excise, customs duty and service tax, has sought a detailed report from the Delhi Customs, and on action being taken on the incident, official sources said.

The Customs department had on June 26 registered a complaint with Delhi Police claiming 11 kg gold worth Rs 2.92 crore had disappeared from its vault.

The incident came to light when packets containing the yellow metal, covered and sealed at the instance of courts, were opened before a departmental committee as part of inventorisation proceedings. A test revealed the sealed material was not gold, they said.

The gold, which was replaced with a yellow-colour metal, was seized in five incidents from passengers who had tried to smuggle it via Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), the sources said.

An FIR under Section 409 for criminal breach of trust by public servant was registered against unknown persons on Friday at the IGIA police station as it was suspected to be an insider’s job.

Interestingly, while seized gold weighing 11.261 kg had been covered and sealed in packets, the metal with which it was replaced weighed only 8.725 kg.

This is not the first time that such a case has come to light. An FIR was filed last year too to probe similar instances of theft.

Theft of gold from five packets had been reported to the police on January 16, 20, April 30 and December 23, 2014, the latest FIR said. In these cases also, gold worth lakhs was replaced by a yellow metal, it said.

Police has launched a probe into the incident. Both police and customs officials have not ruled out the complicity of insiders.