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Indian customs crack down on expat gold smuggling
August 12, 2013, 11:38 am

Indian customs officials are increasingly cracking down on expatriates attempting to smuggle gold into the country, it was reported.

In April, finance minister P Chidambaram introduced new rules and limits on how much non-resident Indians (NRIs) can bring into the country.

For men, the limit is on gold jewellery is up to INR50,000 ($823) and for women it is up to INR1 lakh ($1,646). The limits were previously just INR10,000 ($164) for men and worth INR20,000 ($329) for women.

Despite the increased limits, customs officials have now become more vigilant of those attempted to circumvent the new rules. In June officials seized gold worth INR31.4m, and around 10 people were arrested for smuggling, the Daily Mail newspaper said.

"I had to attend a wedding so I was carrying jewellery. The officials did not allow me to take the jewellery with me unless I paid duty. The second option I had was to deposit the jewellery with them," a NRI flying from Dubai, was quoted as saying.

As part of the rules, the 43-year-old expat had to hand over the gold and was given a detention slip to retrieve the jewellery when she was exiting the country back to the UAE after the wedding

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