Over 31 kgs of gold worth more than Rs nine crore has been seized by officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in separate cases in West Bengal and Mizoram, according to an official statement.
Acting on intelligence, the DRI officers intercepted a passenger accompanying his minor son from Siliguri to Kolkata in a bus who admitted to carrying foreign origin gold concealed in handles of his two trolley bags, it said.
A total of 36 pieces of gold in biscuit form, weighing 5.99 kgs, were seized from the passenger, the statement issued by the DRI said.
"As a strategy to fool the law enforcement authorities, the smugglers had cleverly used the technique of involving a minor in carrying this gold all the way from Indo-Burma border," it said.
The officers further identified a woman and a man who were travelling together in the same bus. They were also found carrying gold in biscuit and sheet forms, very cleverly concealed in two old and used laptops, the DRI said.
A total of 5.32 kgs gold was seized from these passengers travelling together, it said.
The officers thereafter continued with their enforcement action and checked another bus coming from Siliguri and after a thorough combing, intercepted another person carrying 72 pieces of smuggled gold in biscuit form, weighing a total of 11.97 kgs.
"Thus, a total of 23.28 kg foreign-origin, smuggled gold was recovered from the intercepted persons, which were smuggled in through Champhai at Indo-Myanmar border of Mizoram. A total of four persons have thus been arrested in this scam. The fifth person, a juvenile found travelling with one of the accused, has been handed over to Mizoram House in Kolkata," it said.
Acting on specific intelligence, the DRI officers intercepted a person in Aizawl and recovered 49 pieces of gold, weighing 8.14 kgs, valued at Rs 2.58 crore at the bottom of his airbag and rucksack and was arrested.
The seized gold was smuggled in through Champhai at Indo-Mynmar border of Mizoram.
In the last financial year (2017-2018), the DRI seized close to 430 kgs of gold and gold jewellery in the east and northeast region, collectively valued at more than Rs 110 crore.
In the current financial year so far, in the region spread over West Bengal and the north-eastern states, the DRI has already seized over 193 kgs of gold and gold jewellery valued at close to Rs 58 crore, smuggled from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan and even China.
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