New Delhi: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Monday said that its personnel have arrested eight persons for smuggling gold through the Bangladesh border, and seized 24.4 kg gold worth Rs 14 crore.
The DRI said that the accused had hidden the gold in strips in the false cavities of vehicles. These strips were also hidden in specially-tailored waist belts worn by each of them.
“We launched an operation codenamed ‘Operation Eastern Gateway’, which involved developing intelligence over a substantial period of time to bust the smuggling racket. A syndicate based in Bangladesh, Tripura, Assam and West Bengal was smuggling huge quantities of gold from Bangladesh to India through the India-Bangladesh border in Tripura,” said the official.
Teams from the DRI were stationed at different locations in West Bengal, Assam and Tripura at the Indo-Bangladesh border so that the modus operandi of the smuggling syndicate could be unearthed.
“On the basis of intelligence inputs, 8 persons of the syndicate were identified and in a simultaneous and well-coordinated operation at three locations all the eight persons were apprehended red-handed,” the official said.
The DRI said that the team at Siliguri apprehended four persons, 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 weighing 18.66 kg, worth Rs 10.66 crores.
These strips were hidden in specially-tailored waist belts worn by each of them.
“Another team at Agartala apprehended one person who was driving a four-wheeler near the Indo-Bangladesh border near Agartala and found two gold bars weighing 2.25 kg, valued at Rs 1.30 crores, clandestinely concealed in a special cavity built under the driver’s side front door,” the official said.
Another team 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 3.50 kg valued at Rs 2.03 crores from their possession.
“In the said operation, smuggled gold cumulatively weighing 24.4 kg, valued at Rs 14 crores, was seized and all the eight apprehended persons were arrested,” the official said.
The all-India gold seizure by the DRI in this financial year has crossed 1000 kg.