# Country is deprived of foreign currency
# Baggage rules need to be amended
Smuggling gold into the country through Dhaka and other airports has increased for various reasons which include bringing the precious metal by some expatriates abusing “baggage rules” instead of sending remittance.
Influx of illegal gold through Shah Amanat International Airport (IATA) has registered a 32 percent increase compared to the bygone year.
To curb smuggling, the government earlier allowed import of gold through proper channel paying tax.
But illegal gold seized by customs intelligence and law enforcers at Shah Amanat International Airport is almost double the chunk recovered last year.
Experts opined that loopholes of baggage, difference in dollar prices and slack monitoring by the law enforcing agencies are contributing to gold smuggling.
Gold import by the expatriates and travelers is on the rise as they are allowed to carry certain amount of the metal as per the luggage rules.
If an expatriate brings gold to the country, he/she can sell it at Tk 10,000/15,000 profit per bhori.
A report of Chattogram Customs, 63,250 gold bars weighing 7,400kg were imported through Shah Amanat International Airport in 2020-21 and the government earned Tk 127cr in revenue. However, in 11 months of the current FY (2021-22), 83,760 gold bars weighing 9,800kg have been imported paying tax Tk 168cr.
So, import of gold in only 11 months of this FY has registered a 32.5 percent increase compared to the previous year. The government earned Tk 41cr more during this time under review.
The crux of the problem is that a vested quarter smuggle gold into the country abusing luggage rules and through other ways depriving the government of tax and affecting the legal gold traders.
Md Neyamul Islam, assistant commissioner of Chattogram Customs, said import of gold decreases through legal and illegal both ways at the time of its high international price and vice versa.