In a massive operation, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized today 11.2 kilograms of gold being smuggled into Kerala from Kannur International Airport on Monday. During the raids conducted later in Kozhikkode district as per the information received from the arrested smugglers, the officials also recovered 3.2 kilograms of gold and Rs 17.5 lakh in cash.
This is one of the largest haul of the precious yellow metal in the state and the seized gold is worth around Rs 5 core, official sources revealed.
The State notorious for highest cases of gold smuggling, Kerala has witnessed a record flow of gold through all its international airports in the just-concluded financial year going by the statistics drawn up by the Customs Department.
As per official statistics, the number of cases for gold smuggling went up from 242 in 2017-18 to 1,102, an increase of 455%. The quantity of gold seized also made a quantum jump from 103.57 kg to 417.49 kg, registering a staggering increase of 404%. The total value of gold seized from the airports rose from ₹28.99 crore in 2017-18 to ₹122.85 crore, a rise of 424%.
Kerala, specifically the northern region, has been a paradise for gold smugglers and hawala transactions since decades which has contributed much to the country’s black money. Though with demonetarization the large quantity of black money has been neutralized, the hike in the number of smuggling cases in Kerala is alarming.
As per the records of NIA the number of terrorist cases in Kerala is higher, especially from the northern part of the state. Considering the fact that the unaccountable money could be used for antinational operations too, the increasing number of gold smuggling and hawala transactions in Kerala is a threat to national security too.