Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized 833 kg gold worth Rs 405 cr in FY22, which came from Myanmar

According to a Finance Ministry report, about 833 kg of smuggled gold worth Rs 405 crore was seized by revenue intelligence officials in 2021-22, with a large amount of the precious metal coming from the border country of Myanmar.

Officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) have detected a significant change in the gold smuggling pattern during the pandemic as the largest amount of gold seized in 2020-21 and 2021-22 was of Myanmar origin.

In 2019-20, the largest origin country/region of smuggled gold was the Middle East.

During 2021-22, 160 cases of gold smuggling were reported. DRI officials seized 833.07 kg of gold worth Rs 405 crore.

DRI’s ‘Smuggling in India Report 2021-22’ states that organized trans-national crime syndicates are involved in gold smuggling even during the pandemic.

India is the second largest consumer of gold in the world after China. India’s gold import stood at USD 34.62 billion in 2020-21 and is expected to increase by 33.34 per cent to USD 46.14 billion during 2021-22.

The report also states that there has been an increase in gold smuggling using the courier route. Besides, smugglers are using the land route as air traffic was disrupted during the pandemic.

The report said, “The majority of this smuggled gold originated in Myanmar and was smuggled into India through the old Tamu-Moreh-Imphal trajectory in Manipur, which is vulnerable but difficult terrain, and the Zokhatwar route in Mizoram.” passes through a vast expanse of

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A total of 28,334 kg of narcotics was seized by DRI in 103 cases during the year.

The traditional drug trafficking in India has always been through the passenger route. During the pandemic, however, there was an increase in the number of cases in which drugs were smuggled through the cargo route.

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This can be largely attributed to the breakdown of passenger air traffic during the pandemic and the recent political changes in Afghanistan, the DRI report said.

The DRI report also raised concerns over cigarette smuggling, stating that the high incidence of tax on perishable goods is resulting in tax arbitrage favoring smuggling.

It said smuggled cigarettes are on an average 50 per cent cheaper in the Indian market than similar domestic brands.

From a public health perspective, cigarette smuggling also presents a serious challenge because a portion of smuggled cigarettes are counterfeit and the tobacco and other ingredients used in them are of inferior quality.

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During 2021-22, 11 crore sticks worth Rs 93 crore were seized by DRI officials. Of these, 47 percent came from Myanmar, 22 percent from the United Arab Emirates and 31 percent from other countries.

The report states that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced policymakers and businesses across the world to completely rethink their prevailing policy/business models. The same applies to smugglers and smugglers.

β€œLike any other economic agent who aims at maximizing their profitability within exogenous and coercive constraints, these nefarious elements have also adapted to the dynamics of rapidly changing circumstances and have to use new modus operandi. started, which were robust and resilient to the challenges posed by the pandemic,” it added.

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