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Customs officials seize smuggled gold worth over Rs 55 lakh in Vijayawada

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Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) | October 20, 2023 11:48:51 PM IST
The Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Vijayawada has busted a case of illegal foreign currency and smuggled gold of Dubai and Sri Lanka origin coming into Andhra Pradesh.

In a raid conducted on October 18 and then in its follow up raid, officials seized a total of Rs. 55.34 lakhs worth smuggled gold and Rs 16.63 lakh worth foreign currency.

According to the custom officials, In the wee hours of October 18 at Kaza Toll Plaza in NH-16 of Guntur District, officials intercepted a carrier of illegal foreign currency who was travelling in a bus from Vijayawada to Nellore and recovered nearly Rs 13.10 Lakhs worth of illegal Foreign Currency from him. It appears that the carrier was travelling to Chennai to dispose the Foreign Currency and purchase smuggled Gold.

As a follow up to this operation, the officers of Customs Division, Kakinada conducted search operations at the premises of a gold merchant in Narsapur, West Godavari district on October 18 & 19 and recovered 940.46 grams of foreign origin gold worth Rs 55.34 Lakhs along with foreign currency (4250 US Dollars) worth Rs 3.53 Lakhs.

Customs authorities continue to face a difficult task in tracking down syndicates behind smuggled gold, as the gold smuggled into India is being immediately defaced and melted to remove the foreign markings, before the gold is moved to interior areas.

In the year 2022-23 and 2023-24, the Vijayawada Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate has made seizures of smuggled gold to the tune of more than 70 kgs valued more than Rs.40 crores. It appears that the foreign markings on some of the gold pieces were deliberately erased to camouflage the smuggled nature of the Gold, said an official statement from Vijayawada Customs.

Further details are awaited (ANI)

 
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