DRI arrests 8, seizes 50 kg gold worth Rs 29 cr
New Delhi: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) launched an operation code-named ‘Operation Eastern Gateway’, to bust the gold smuggling modus operandi. Officials said that a syndicate based in Bangladesh, Tripura, Assam and West Bengal was smuggling huge quantities of gold from Bangladesh to India through the Indo-Bangladesh border in Tripura.
In the operation, various teams of DRI were strategically placed at different locations in West Bengal, Assam and Tripura, including the Indo-Bangladesh border, so that the modus operandi used by the smuggling syndicate could be unearthed. Based on the intelligence inputs, eight people in the syndicate were identified. In a simultaneous and well-coordinated operation at three locations, all of them were apprehended red-handed, a senior official confirmed.
The team at Siliguri apprehended four while they were travelling in a train from Badarpur junction in Assam to Sealdah, at Dalkhola Railway Station in West Bengal and recovered 90 gold strips from their possession collectively weighing 18.66 kg, valued at Rs 10.66 crore. These strips were hidden in specially-tailored waist belts worn by each of them, DRI said.
Simultaneously, the team at Agartala apprehended an accused who was driving a car near the Indo-Bangladesh border near Agartala and found two gold bars weighing 2.25 kg, valued at Rs 1.30 crore, clandestinely concealed in a special cavity built under the driver-side front door.
While, another team of DRI at Karimganj in Assam apprehended three persons while they were travelling in a train from Agartala to Sealdah and seized eight bars of gold weighing 3.5 kg valued at Rs 2.03 crore, from their possession, the official confirmed.
In operation, smuggled gold cumulatively weighing 24.4 kg, valued at nearly
Rs 14 crore, was seized and all the eight apprehended persons were arrested. Further, investigations are going on. The official added that the all-India gold seizure by DRI in this financial year has crossed 1,000 kg.