Gold Smuggling: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized 23.23-kg of gold worth Rs 11.65 crore which was smuggled through North-East (NE) Borders. Four people have been arrested so far and an investigation is underway to unearth possible larger nexus.
DRI had received specific intelligence that indicated 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 a vehicle. Acting on the lead, coordinated action was undertaken by officials. They mounted surveillance on the highway connecting Siliguri – Guwahati. Four passengers travelling in two suspect vehicles were identified and intercepted.
After thorough rummaging of the two vehicles over a period of two days (on September 28 and 29), 23.23-kg of gold concealed in the vehicle body in the form of 21 cylindrical pieces, was recovered. The recovered gold was being smuggled into India from Myanmar through the Zokhawthar border in Mizoram.
In nine cases out of 11 in a month, DRI has 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. In one of the remaining cases, DRI seized 65.46 kg of foreign-origin gold worth Rs 33.40 crores. The gold was consigned from Aizawl to Mumbai in a domestic courier consignment. The gold was concealed in gunny bags declared as clothes.
These series of detections have helped DRI unearth a distinct pattern of operation that suggests the smuggling of foreign-origin gold into India from the North-Eastern part of the country is the work of a single criminal.
According to the Finance Ministry, there is a spurt in the smuggling of gold through the NE borders of Bangladesh and Myanmar. In September 2022 alone, 11 cases of gold seizures of 121 kg have been registered and the NE corridor is still extensively being used by smugglers.