Pakistan’s ‘gold king’ who ends India’s dominance in gold smuggling

In April 1958, a passenger going to Lahore was stopped at the Karachi airport, and three thousand and one hundred weighing gold was recovered from that passenger. When the Karachi customs officials told in the press handout that they had confiscated two thousand tola gold, the passenger in police custody corrected their mistake and said that it was not two thousand but three thousand one hundred tola gold.

The man was soon released from prison and only five months later, he appeared in a border village near Kasur. From there, he had to leave 45 gold bricks to escape from Amritsar police.

Six years later, this man once again surfaced when the Delhi Police tried to arrest him. At that time he was making a gold deal with a businessman of Moti Bazaar in Chandni Chowk.

The man managed to escape from the police, but one of his accomplices was caught and the police also recovered 44 gold bricks from him.
In 1977, a newspaper published from Lahore wrote about the man as “a golden fugitive, an extraordinary man, disguised and a fox-smart”.
The man’s name was included in the list of Pakistan and Interpol and he often traveled to Delhi, Dubai and London. And that man was none other than Seth Abid.

Seth Abid, who died at the age of 85, is also known as the ‘Gold King’ in Pakistan. He is counted among the richest people whose wealth depended on gold smuggling.
By the 1990s, he emerged as the most resource-rich property developer in the city, having a large number of properties in various parts of Lahore.

He also had a number of properties in Karachi and after being named in Panama Lake, he transferred his assets to the British Virgin Islands.

There are many stories about his exploits in the world of smuggling. Newspapers and social media still portray Seth Abid as a romantic and talk about his escape and glamorous life.

When newspapers introduced him as the ‘infamous Pakistani Gold King smuggler’, Seth protested against it. And presented themselves as those who made gold accessible to the general public.

Seth Abid told the editor of a Lahore newspaper: ‘Why am I called the infamous gold smuggler? I am providing cheap gold for the weddings of my sister and daughters. I am doing better service for society and country. Instead of getting praise and recognition, I got notoriety.

Seth Abid has now died. But his personality can survive in many forms and meanings in the coming days.

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