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New DElhi: The Delhi Zonal Unit (DZU) of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has busted a major gold smuggling racket involving smuggling of around 7,000 kg old worth more than Rs 2,000 crore during past two -and -a – half years. This probably is the single biggest case of detection of gold smuggling by any agency in India.
This case came to light when the officers of the Delhi Zonal Unit (DZU) of the DRI seized 10 kg gold at the domestic cargo terminal of IGI airport, Delhi, during the intervening of September 1/ 2, 2016. The seized gold bars of 24 carat purity were admittedly smuggled into India through Indo-Myanmar land borders and were brought to Delhi from Guwahati by a domestic flight. Market value of the total seized goods is around Rs 3.1 crore. Involvement of the employees of the airlines and others is being investigated by DRI, according to a PIB release.
This racket had adopted an ingenious modus operandi of gold smuggling wherein smuggled goods were brought to Delhi from Guwahati on 617 occasions by declaring it as valuable cargo in domestic flights operated by a particular airlines to avoid being detected by Customs. So far, smugglers had been known to be using train and bus routes to carry smuggled gold into different parts of India.
Two of the accused, a Guwahati-based businessman and his Delhi-based aide, have been arrested by DRI in Delhi and remanded to judicial custody. The said Guwahati-based businessman was also involved in many cases of smuggling of gold in the past wherein 37 kilograms of gold worth Rs 9 crore was seized by DRI. He was also arrested by the Guwahati Unit of DRI in February, 2015, for smuggling about 12 kg gold and was later was released on bail.
Intelligence also reveals that huge quantities of gold bars of foreign origin are being smuggled from Myanmar through Indo-Myanmar border adjacent to Moreh in Manipur and from Zokhawthar area in Mizoram. However, DRI has been successful in effecting sizable seizures of gold of foreign origin, emanating from Myanmar, including seizure of 87 kg of gold in March, 2015, at Siliguri and 58 kg of gold at Kolkata in August, 2016, in which 12 persons were arrested by DRI, Kolkata, said the PIB release. In another case involving seizure of 12 kg of gold in Mumbai on August 5, 2016 by Mumbai DRI, investigations revealed that the same group had smuggled 700 kg gold valued at over Rs 200 crore in the preceding 18 months period.