By Faryal Najeeb
KARACHI: Gold dealers have found a perfectly tax-free legal way to ship the precious metal into another country with an intention to sell them for a profit. Have women wear them as jewellery and travel to the desired destination.
Gold rates in Pakistan are considerably stable now than few months ago. However, it continues to remain cheaper by Rs300-500 per 10 grams compared to the Dubai bullion market.
Recently, a case was brought to light when a man tried to take around 100 tolas (1.17kg) of gold jewellery out of the country in a very simple way. He had his wife and daughters adorn heavily with gold jewellery, which he had planned to sell in another country.
President of All Pakistan Supreme Council of Jewellers Association, Haroon Rashid Chand said, “this is not an unusual way to ship gold to other countries with the intention of selling them.
“It isn’t illegal for women to wear heavy gold jewellery and carrying the same is not a crime. Taking advantage of this fact, many families and more than often, dealers ship gold and other precious metals and stones out of the country in this way.”
He explained that this was a perfectly legal way to sell precious metals and gems in other markets that were far more lucrative than Pakistan.
Referring to the incident, Chand was of the view that had the man sold all that jewellery in the Dubai market, he could have earned a profit of Rs40,000, keeping the difference between current local and UAE rates in mind.
He continued to say that earlier Customs used to believe that gold was only brought into the country and not exported abroad. However, the practice of smuggling gold to other bullion markets has existed for long and only recently has the Customs taken note of it.
Referring to the variety of gold being sold in Pakistan, Chand said that it was mostly local recycled jewellery. A thin percentage of international gold was brought in the country mostly by women visiting/living abroad, Chand said adding gold imports were now almost negligible of the total volume of local bullion trade.
Chand said that the Pakistani bullion market was cold as an average persons purchasing power continued to decline by the day and hence consumers preferred to stay away from the markets.
Gold was valued at Rs23,657 per ten grams and Rs27,600 per tola on Friday. International bullion rates stood at $923.50 an ounce on Friday.