About 50 tonnes of gold was smuggled into the country in just 10 days, and subsequently pushed 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 starts when Navratri starts. Market sources said that 30% of the smuggled gold has been supplied in Mumbai to unscrupulous jewellers, while the rest was distributed to different parts of the country. The illegal gold is finding a place in the market because of below average legal 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.
The Mumbai airport customs, which has started a serious crackdown on gold smugglers, has seized around 529 kg of gold, from April to August during this financial year.