Guwahati: The recent gold seizures in the North East by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) indicate a spurt in the smuggling of gold through the NE borders of Bangladesh and Myanmar.
While the porous borders have been used for smuggling in the past, 11 cases of gold seizures of 121 kg in September 2022 alone show that the NE corridor is still extensively being used by smugglers deploying ingenious ways of concealment.
Acting on specific intelligence and in three coordinated interceptions at Patna, Delhi and Mumbai, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized 65.46 kg of foreign-origin gold worth Rs 33.40 crore. The gold was consigned from Aizwal to Mumbai in domestic courier consignment. The gold was concealed in gunny bags declared as clothes.
In yet another case of smuggling through the same route, the DRI seized another big haul of smuggled foreign origin gold weighing approximately 23.23 kg and valued at Rs 11.65 crore (approx.) which was being smuggled from Myanmar.
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Specific intelligence indicated that a substantial quantity of foreign-origin gold will be attempted to be smuggled from Champhai-Aizawl, Mizoram to Kolkata, West Bengal by carrying/concealing them in the vehicle. To interdict the contraband, coordinated action was undertaken on 28th – 29th September 2022. The DRI officers mounted surveillance on the highway connecting Siliguri – Guwahati.
Four passengers travelling in 2 suspect vehicles were identified and intercepted. After thorough rummaging of the two vehicles over a period of 2 days, 23.23 Kg gold concealed in the vehicle body in the form of 21 cylindrical pieces, was recovered. The gold in this case was cast in order to fit in the specifically made cavity inside the cross-member metal pipe connecting the right and left rails of the chassis behind the rear wheels and suspension in both vehicles. The recovered gold had been smuggled into India from Myanmar through the Zokhawthar border in Mizoram. Four persons have been arrested in the instant case so far.
In another 9 cases in the month, DRI recovered and seized 27 kg of smuggled gold from various carriers coming from the North-Eastern part of the country to the rest of the country. These series of detections have helped unearth a novel modus operandi of smuggling foreign-origin gold into India from the North-Eastern part of the country.
Further investigation is in progress.