The Indian government recently released a report that gold smuggling increased by six times in the last fiscal year, which ended March 31.
For FY 2012, there were 871 seizures, worth R99 crore. (approximately $16.5 million, ) For FY 2013, there were 1757 seizures, worth R564.8 crore (approximately $94 million.)
Customs officials estimate that only 10% of smugglers are actually caught, which would mean that about $845 million of gold was successfully smuggled into India last year.
Most of the smugglers buy their gold in Dubai, where prices are cheaper (Gold is $100/oz more expensive in India). Many Indians work in Dubai and come home on holidays, so there are many flights at all times of the day between the two nations. Overland routes through Bangladesh and Pakistan have also become popular, and rumors say that gold smuggling into India from Nepal is controlled by Chinese organized crime. One other route is by boat from Sri Lanka. Gold is more easily imported there, and small boats will land on the coast of India under cover of darkness.