Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: It is indeed scandalous that gold worth crores of rupees, kept in 'highly secure' lockers of government is mysteriously disappearing. This is that gold which is periodically seized from smugglers by the customs officials.
It is indeed shocking that there were no CCTV cameras fitted around the vaults. Even after the repeated instances of thefts, no one seems to have been found guilty of theft.
These lockers or vaults are located at the Indira Gandhi International Airport and some customs offices across the country.
According to a PTI report, one of the smugglers nabbed last year had admitted to involvement of a customs official in smuggling of gold carried by him.
Now, the Central Board of Excise and Customs has intervened in the matter of disappearance of gold and the customs authorities have been asked to post known honest officers and installing cameras to guard these strong rooms.
Customs authorities are also required to carry out a quarterly inspection and take stock of seized valuables stored in the safe.
The entry of anybody else except the custodian to the valuables godown will also be barred, unless authorised by the Commissioner of Customs. Government has also ordered that the seized gold should not be kept anywhere else except in strong room or in a locker in a nationalised bank.
A total of 23.6 kg of gold (worth Rs 6.28 crore as per prevailing market price) has gone missing from the customs vaults at the IGIA, the customs department had said in reply to an RTI query filed by PTI.
With PTI inputs