Home / News / India /  DRI seized 833 kg smuggled gold worth 405 cr in FY22: Report

New Delhi: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized 833.07 kg of smuggled gold worth 405.35 crore in 2021-22 (FY22), the agency said in its annual report.

“In a significant shift from the trend noticed in 2019-20, the largest amount of gold seized by the DRI in 2020-21 & 2021-22, was of Myanmar origin. In 2019-20, the largest originating country/region of smuggled gold was the Middle East," the report , Smuggling in India Report 2021-22, said.

The report released by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on DRI’s 65th Foundation Day showed that 37% of all the gold seized in FY22 was from Myanmar. 20 per cent of it originated from West Asia.

In total, 73%of smuggled gold caught was brought in through Myanmar and Bangladesh, it said.

The quantum of smuggling has gone up during the period in which the economic activities were gradually unlocked post-Covi-related curbs. It added during the pandemic, due to the widespread disruption to air traffic, there was a rise in the instances of gold smuggling by land routes (road or rail).

“Increased surveillance at international airports has forced the change of route from West Asia by air to land route, i.e. through the China- Myanmar-India borders. Geographically, India has land borders with five countries in the North Eastern Region, viz. Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and China," the report said.

Manipur and Mizoram are the two strategic states at the Indo-Myanmar Border in connection with gold smuggling, the report added.

“Two flagged routes for smuggling of gold from Myanmar into India are Muse-Mandalay-Kalewa-Tedim-Zokhawthar and Muse-Mandalay-Kalewa-Tamu-Namphalong-Moreh. The former route is connected to Mizoram in India, whereas the latter route opens to Manipur in India," it said.

“Fuel tanks, dashboard, AC filters, seats, wheel axle, chassis cavity and spare tyres are used for concealment besides specially built cavities in the vehicles," the report said.

According to the chapter in the report, India is the world’s second-largest consumer of gold after China. India’s gold imports were worth $34.62 billion in 2020-21 and rose 33.34 per cent to $46.14 billion during 2021-22.

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