67.4 kg gold missing from Delhi airport in 7 months

Written by | December 5, 2016 | 0

New Delhi: The customs department, which tracks and penalises unlawful ferrying of gold at airports, is facing an embarrassing situation — a rising number of cases have come to light this year of the yellow metal disappearing from its own vaults.

During April-October 2016 — the first seven months of this financial year  a total of 67.4 kg of gold has been deemed to have disappeared at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) itself.

A total of 47 cases in IGIA are being investigated during these seven months (see box, page 2), the highest in the last four years and cumulatively higher than the number of cases reported over the last three years, according to officials involved in the exercise.

The vaults of the Customs department come under the Ministry of Finance’s Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). Over the last three years, around 130 kg of gold has been “misplaced” from Customs vaults in key airports and cities.

In most cases, the confiscated gold is replaced with imitation or fake metal, which surfaces in routine audits done by the department. The increasing cases of pilferage within the Customs vaults comes at a time when the government is working on a slew of measures to clamp down on black money.

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