One more passenger from Bahrain to India was arrested at Calicut International Airport located in the South Indian State of Kerala after trying to smuggle a little over 800 grams of gold. The arrested was later identified by Indian Customs officials as Usman Vattampoyil, a 29-year-old Indian national. This is the second incident involving a bid to smuggle gold from the Kingdom to India in two weeks’ time, according to sources.
A Bahrain resident was arrested at Calicut International Airport last week after attempting to smuggle 2.4 kg of gold concealed in his rectum. According to local media reports, the arrested Indian national was identified as Hamzad Sadiq, a resident of the Kingdom. Both accused have been remanded in police custody, pending judicial actions. Smuggling of gold from the GCC countries to India has been, of late, on the rise.
The precious metal smuggling involves the illicit transportation of gold via air transport, usually with the aim of circumventing taxes and other restrictions on imports and exports. As per the data available with the Indian Finance Ministry on gold seizures made by Customs field formations and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) from 2012 to 2022 (up to June), Tamil Nadu registered the highest annual average of 772 cases, followed by Maharashtra with 705 cases.
The annual average of Kerala during this period stood at 295 cases. Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Leh and Ladakh together accounted for an annual average of 356 cases during this period. However, since 2020, Kerala is at the top of the list with a total of 1,880 cases up to June 2022, followed by Tamil Nadu with 1,632 cases and Maharashtra with 776 cases.