The World Gold Council estimates that between 150 to 200 tonnes of gold was smuggled into India in 2013. Officially, there was also 900 tonnes of gold that was imported to the country during the year. ‘
Intelligence officials in India state that most of the gold originates in Dubai, with Singapore also becoming a key player. The gold is smuggled to Sri Lanka, where it is then transported into the country.
Customs officials have begun paying informants a higher reward for help in stooping gold smuggling than they pay illegal drug informants. An informant who provides information about gold smuggling can receive a reward up to $807 (50,000 Indian Rupees) for each kilogram of bullion seized. By comparison, a cocaine informant can receive up to $645 (40,000 Rupees) while a heroin informant receives up to $322 (20,000 Rupees) as a reward.
The actually smuggler who carries the gold into India is paid $161 (10,000 Rupees) per trip.
Source: A. Anathalakshmi and Siddesh Mayenkar, “Bullion smuggling outstrips narcotics to feed gold habit,” Reuters, December 4, 2013.