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Gold smuggling rises as COVID-19 crisis pushes up prices to all-time high

Gold prices continue to soar, touching as high as Rs 47,000 per 10 gram last week

April 22, 2020 / 04:16 PM IST

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic disrupting economies and markets, safe-haven options such as gold have increasingly become the choice of investment. Gold prices continue to soar, touching as high as Rs 47,000 per 10 gram last week, even as other sectors take a hit amid lockdowns employed by various countries to combat COVID-19.

But this increased interest in the precious metal has also fuelled another sector – smuggling, the Hindu BussinessLine reported.

The Customs Office at Chennai International Airport in Tamil Nadu, in particular, has recorded an all-time high in smuggling activity during FY20. As much as 375 kg of gold valuing Rs 134 crore was seized compared to 271 kg of gold valuing Rs 87 crore in FY19, the report noted.

Total 924 cases of smuggling were booked, compared to 461 in FY19 – a 100 percent jump. The number of arrested also increased from 56 to 136 year-on-year (YoY), data from Chennai Customs showed.