67.4 kg gold misplaced from vaults: Customs asked to take urgent steps to sell seized gold

Gold bars
Revenue department has asked Customs to take "urgent steps" to dispose confiscated gold while permitting the department to utilise the services of public sector banks, MMTC and STC, to sell the seized metal.

The government had informed Parliament that 67.4 kg gold was misplaced from the vaults of Customs department at the Indira Gandhi International Airport this fiscal.

"In addition to the SBI, the sale of seized/confiscated gold found ripe for disposal can be routed through all public sector banks (approved by RBI to import and sell gold), MMTC and STC," the Central Board of Customs and Excise (CBEC) said in a communication to its top officials.

The Board also "desired that all Custom Houses should take urgent steps to dispose of seized/ confiscated gold..."

Earlier, the Customs was allowed to sell the confiscated gold only through the banking behemoth State Bank of India. The guidelines for sale of such gold was revised last in August 2005.

The sale price, irrespective of the form of gold, is based on the closing market price of the previous day. The banks cannot levy any commission on the Customs Department. However, all out of pocket expenses incurred by the banks would be deductible. As per the guidelines, the bank concerned will have to take physical delivery of the gold from the Customs warehouse/ office against a suitable acknowledgement.

Forty-seven cases of disappearance of gold were reported from IGI Airport having a total quantity of 67.40 kg between April and October 2016.

In the last three years (2013-14 to 2015-16), 12 cases of disappearance of gold from vaults of Customs department at New Delhi, Mumbai and Trichy Airports were detected. The total quantity involved in the same was 65.39 kg.

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