Gold, currency smuggling: High alert sounded at ports, airports

Sign-in and sign-off of crew being monitored; teams instructed to check invoice at ports, airports

Officials of the Customs and Central Excise have sounded high alert at all airports and ports to check illegal transportation of currency and gold.
With the cancellation of the Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes, the Centre had taken steps to close the doors from all sides on black money.




Special teams
“Special teams have been deputed at Kakinada, Visakhapatnam, Krishnapatnam ports and the Inland Container Depot (ICD) located at Marripalem village in Guntur district. Likewise, security has been tightened at Gannavaram, Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry and Renigunta airports too,” a senior Customs and Central Excise official told The Hindu.
Officers had been asked to keep a tab on the foreign vessels and flights and screen the crew and the passengers thoroughly.
Complaints
“We are receiving many complaints on sale of gold. But the Customs Department will act only on the gold biscuits which are of foreign origin and which have foreign markings under Section 123 of Customs Act 1962. Customs and Central Excise do not have jurisdiction on Indian made gold and fine touch yellow metal,” said another officer of the Customs Department.
However, we kept a vigil and the officials concerned had been instructed to focus on bullion traders, showrooms and money exchanging teams. The special teams would act on the complaints and the details of the informants would be kept confidential, the officer said.
Anti-smuggling teams
“We deal with smuggling of gold, foreign currency, cigarettes and some foreign goods. Anti-smuggling teams have been pressed into service along the coast as well as ports. We request the public to cooperate with the officials in checking smuggling,” the officer said.
The Customs and Central Excise authorities were monitoring the situation and tightened vigil at all vantage points.
“We are reviewing the position at airports and ports with the officers concerned,” the officer added.