24 September 2014

50 Tonnes In Ten Days: Gold Smuggling Overwhelms Government Restrictions In India

So much for the mainstream media reports of a waning interest in gold in India and elsewhere.

To put this into perspective, there are just under 32 tonnes of total registered gold on the Comex. 

USAToday did a rerun of 'Why Warren Buffett Hates Gold' the other day. 

Few outside the dollarsphere are listening anymore, or care.    

Things are certainly warming up.  The mispricing of risk is formidable.

The entire story can be read here.

Hindustan Times
50 tonne gold smuggled into India in 10 days, 30% reached Mumbai
By Manish Pachouly
Mumbai, September 23, 2014

About 50 tonnes of gold has been smuggled into the country in the past 10 days, and subsequently taken into the market to cater to a surge in demand for the precious metal in the festive season. There is a heavy demand for gold during Dussehra, for which booking and supply will start from Thursday, when shradh ends and Navratri starts.

Market sources said that 30% of the smuggled gold has been supplied in Mumbai to unscrupulous jewelers, while the rest was distributed to different parts of the country.

Sources said that illegal gold is finding a place in the market because of below average imports resulting from the 80:20 scheme and 10% import duty. Against the average monthly demand of 80 tonnes, the import is presently around 51 tonnes in the country.

Sources said that gold was smuggled into the country through the land route, via Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. “This is because airports have tightened security, restricting the smuggling of gold by the air route,” said a market expert. The Mumbai airport customs, which has started a serious crackdown on gold smugglers, has seized around 529 kg gold from April to August this financial year.

Experts fear that more gold will be smuggled from similar land routes in days to come, as the demand will shoot up once the marriage season begins, in the later part of November. “There will be huge demand because of the festive season, and also the low price at which gold is presently being traded,” said Kumar Jain, vice-president of Mumbai Jewelers' Association.

Jain said, “The government should immediately bring down the import duty and relax the 80:20 scheme, so that official import goes up. That will bring down the smuggling.”

Rajiv Popley, director Popley Group, said, “Smuggling of gold has been on the rise for the last eight months, due to irrational supply issues. The officially available gold was at a premium, which was higher than anywhere else in the world.”