DRI searches jewellers for duty evasion

Armed with intelligence on gold smuggling from foreign countries, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) conducted a massive search operation in the premises of leading jewellers across the country for suspected duty evasion worth crores.

Official sources said the ongoing search operations started last week; various places in New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were visited by teams of DRI officials.

The move came after the financial intelligence sleuths found instances of alleged duty evasion in import of gold, wrong calculation of duty and smuggling by wrongly declaring the type of imported goods,  sources said.

Consequently, the DRI put jewellers across India under its lens and alerted customs officers to double check consignments originating from the Middle East and South-East Asian countries to check smuggling of gold.

Official sources said customs authorities have received about Rs 10 crore from various bullion traders as payment for alleged duty evasion following the raids.
A Delhi-based leading jeweller reportedly paid about Rs eight crore alone to customs authorities in connection with the probe.

Sources said Customs Overseas Intelligence Network officers posted outside the country have been told to strengthen intelligence on consignments originating there for India.

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