In order to deal sternly with cases of gold smuggling, the Finance Ministry has decided that prosecution in cases related to it will be launched soon after issuance of show cause notices.
It has revised the guidelines issued about a year ago in this regard and included gold in the list of items in which prosecution can be launched soon after the show cause notices have been issued.
“Normally, prosecution may be launched immediately on completion of adjudication proceedings. However, prosecution in respect of cases involving offences relating to items i.E. gold, Fake Indian Currency Notes, arms, ammunitions and explosives, antiques, art treasures, wild life items and endangered species of flora and fauna may preferably be launched immediately after issuance of show cause notice,” it said in a directive to the customs.
Customs officials say that the new measure will help check gold smuggling and result in swift punishment to the offenders.
The cases of gold smuggling are regularly reported from international airports, especially Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, where smugglers are following new modus operandi to illegally bring in the precious metal.
Of late, customs officials at the Delhi airport had arrested two men for allegedly trying to smuggle into the country gold weighing 2.6 kg worth about Rs 78 lakh by hiding it in papaya.
Various agencies have seized a whopping 2969.52 kgs of gold worth several hundred crores of rupees during 2015-16.