A Golden Web: How India Became One of the World’s Largest Gold Smuggling Hubs

Goldsmiths across the country stand ready to buy gold from traders and turn it into bullion or jewellery. They ask few, if any, questions about the gold’s origins or whether it’s been legally imported into the country. When paperwork does accompany the gold, many turn a blind eye to potentially questionable information in the documents. India is at the heart of a web of the illicit trade of gold, with threads spanning the globe. The illicit trade of gold is a significant problem worldwide, with increasing awareness by stakeholders of its scope. This research seeks to further our understanding of the role that trading hubs play in the illicit gold trade. Specifically, this report examines the role of India as a trading hub and its role for illicitly importing refined gold bullion and doré.