THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In an illegal gold rush in Kerala, over 100 kg smuggled gold has been seized in the past eight months after the Centre’s checks on gold imports and close to 60 smuggling cases have been registered.
In the past eight months, Kerala’s airports have emerged key entry points for smuggled gold. “The present spurt in gold smuggling cases has been a recent phenomenon that has happened after the increase in Customs duty from 8 to 10 per cent,” said K N Raghavan, commissioner, Kochi Customs unit.
Even educated professionals like airhostess Hiromasa Sebastin and MBA graduate Raahila Cheerayi were caught working as carriers. Mohammed Ashraf, Director in major jewellery chain Malabar Gold, has also been accused of allegedly buying 10 kg smuggled gold. His involvement was revealed by Shahbaz, a kingpin in the gold smuggling racket arrested recently.