China overtakes India as largest importer of gold

New Delhi-India (Feb 9)   China has overtaken India as the largest importer of gold in the world and, worryingly, some of it is headed to India illegally. Financial intelligence agencies have stumbled upon evidence that after pushing in gold from Bangladesh and Nepal, smugglers are now routing the yellow metal through China as well.

In the past couple of months alone, Nepal authorities have seized close to 50 kg of gold at Tatopani bordering China. Only a fortnight ago, authorities apprehended Chinese national Chen Rongjie with 8 kg gold at Liping, Tatopani, in Sindhupalchok.

Sources in Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) say the consignment was headed to India. DRI has already unearthed rackets pushing gold through Indo-Bangla and Nepal borders where cattle and FICN smuggling networks are being utilised to push in gold as traditional routes such as Dubai and Thailand become more policed.