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India's Gold Bullion Smuggling "Doubles" in 2013

Illegal gold bullion seized en route from Nepal already triples the 2012 total...
GOLD BULLION smuggling to India – the world's No.1 consumer country – has doubled from last year thanks to the government's anti-import rules, according to estimates from industry professionals.
Seizures have meantime trebled en route from neighboring Nepal, official figures show.
The consensus amongst Indian jewelers and other gold bullion players is for 60 tonnes of illegal imports since April 2013, reports the Business Standard. That compares to 30-32 tonnes during the April-August period of 2012.
India is faced with a damaging outflow of foreign currency to pay for its large balance of payments deficits. The India Rupee fell again to fresh record lows on Wednesday, driving the price of gold bullion higher still after this spring's rise in import duties to 10%.
"There is a growing demand for gold in India," the Pakistan Tribune meantime quotes Nepal's deputy director general for Inland Revenue, Anand Raj Dhakal.
"So the smugglers are cashing in on that."
India's legal gold bullion imports rose to $2.9 billion in July from $2.5bn in June, official data say, despite tighter import duty and regulations.
So far in 2013 Nepalese police and customs authorities have seized three times as much illegal gold bound for India as in the whole of last year, the paper says. 
Compared to the 69 kilograms caught so far, however, police spokesman Nawaraj Silwal reckons only 10% of illegal shipments are stopped.
Wary of the impact heavy gold imports can have, as well as the dangers of a growing black economy, Pakistan's government banned all gold bullion shipments into the country during August, says The Tribune. Because Pakistan itself had seen "huge" imports of gold during June and July, with the bulk apparently re-exported illegally across the border and taking advantage of a 4% VAT sales tax rebate for re-exporters.

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