Gold value Rs 1.10 crore goes lacking from Customs custody

Jamnagar, December 18 

Gold worth Rs 1.10 crore has gone “missing” from the custody of the Customs department’s office here in Gujarat, police said on Friday.

The Jamnagar police have lodged an FIR against unidentified staffers of the Customs department, which first conducted an internal probe, that lasted for four years, in the matter.

The FIR was lodged under the IPC section 309, which deals with criminal breach of trust by a public servant, at the Jamnagar ‘B’ division police station on Thursday evening, said police inspector, Kunal Gadhe.

“The gold (in form of articles) belonged to the Bhuj Customs division and was kept at the Jamnagar office after the 2001 earthquake.

“After taking back the custody in 2016, the Bhuj office learned that 2,156.722 gram of gold worth Rs 1.10 crore was missing.

“Following an internal inquiry, the Customs department has lodged an FIR against unidentified staffers,” said Gadhe.

As per the FIR, the Bhuj Customs division of Kutch district had in 2001 handed over 3,149.398 grams of seized gold to its Jamnagar divisional office after the Bhuj office suffered damage in the earthquake.

These gold articles were kept in two suitcases and handed over to the Jamnagar office in 2001, said the FIR.

After the renovation of the office, Bhuj Customs officials took custody of the sealed suitcases from the Jamnagar office in 2016, it said.

Since keys were misplaced, these suitcases were opened after breaking the locks in 2016 in the presence of officials of both the divisions.

After counting the articles, it was revealed that out of 3,149.398 gram of gold, 2,156.722 gram was missing, said the police document.

After a four-year-long internal inquiry, higher authorities in the Customs, suspecting theft of the precious metal, gave a go-ahead to lodge the FIR, said Gadhe. PTI 

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