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Philippine Embassy ‘advises’ its nationals not to bring much gold ‘Indian govt imposes limitation’

 KUWAIT CITY, Aug 4: The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait has advised all Filipino nationals in Kuwait to refrain from bringing unusual quantities of gold (ingot and jewellery) when travelling to India after the arrest of some nationals recently at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai due to alleged gold smuggling or illegal gold imports.

In the embassy advisory issued by Philippine Ambassador Lamberto V Monsanto on Sunday, it stated that the Indian government has imposed limitations on the quantity of imported gold to India with the weakening of the Indian rupee.

Monsanto cited in the advisory that under the Indian Customs Act of 1962, Chapter XIII, Section 101, an officer of customs has the power to search suspected persons in certain other cases. It further stated that “if an officer of customs empowered in this behalf by general of specific order of the Commissioner of Customs, has reason to believe that any person has secreted about this person any goods of the description specified in subsection (2) which are liable to confiscation, or documents relating thereto, he may search this person.”

The goods referred to in the aforementioned section are the following: gold, diamonds, manufactures of gold or diamonds, watches and any other class of goods which the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette specify. The advisory also outlined Section 102 of the Indian Customs Act of 1962, Chapter XIII whereby persons to be searched may require to be taken before gazetted officer of customs or magistrate.

When any officer of customs is about to search any persons under the provisions of Section 101, the officer of customs shall if such person so requires, take him without unnecessary delay to the nearest gazetted officer of customs or magistrate.

If such requisition is made, the officer of customs may detain the person making it until he can bring him before the gazetted officer of customs or the magistrate. The gazetted officer of customs or the magistrate before whom any such person is brought shall: “if he sees no reasonable ground for search, forthwith discharge the person but otherwise shall direct that search be made.

The advisory informed Filipinos that before the customs officer makes a search under the provisions of Section 100 or Section 101, the officer of customs shall call upon two or more persons to attend and witness the search and may issue an order in writing to them or any of them so to do; and the search shall be made in the presence of such persons and a list of all things seized in the course of such search shall be prepared by such officer or other person and signed by such witnesses.

Finally, no female shall be searched by any one except a female. “This is for the information and guidance of the Filipino community in Kuwait as we urged our nationals to heed the advisory,” stated Monsanto.

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