Gold worth over Dh21 million was seized while being smuggled into India from Myanmar on August 28, from eight men arrested at New Delhi railway station.
According to local media reports, as many as 504 gold bars, weighing 83.6 kilograms, were recovered from the accused who hail from the Sangli district in the Indian state of Maharashtra, officials said.
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In a statement issued on Saturday, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) said eight people were intercepted after their arrival at New Delhi railway station by Dibrugarh-New Delhi Rajdhani Express on Friday.
The DRI officials seized the gold bars which were found to be concealed in specially tailored cloth vests worn by the eight passengers, Indian media reported.
“The carriers of the smuggled gold were found to be travelling with fake identity (Aadhar cards),” the DRI statement read, as reported by Indian media.
Tweeting about the incident, India’s East Coast Railway, @EastCoastRail, posted: “Eight persons arrested for smuggling 504 gold bars at NDLS station (New Delhi railway station). They were travelling to NDLS by Dibrugarh- New Delhi Rajdhani express. They had fake identity cards.”
Reportedly, the recovered gold bars had foreign markings on them, and they were smuggled into India from Myanmar through the international land border at Moreh, a town located on the India-Myanmar border, in the state of Manipur.
The smugglers were operating from the city of Guwahati in the state of Assam and they were attempting to dispose of the contraband in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, which have thriving markets for the yellow metal, DRI informed local media.
“The smuggling syndicate sourced and recruited poor and needy individuals from various parts of the country, to act as carriers of smuggled gold, by luring them with the prospect of quick and easy money. The smugglers used air, land and rail routes to locally transport the smuggled gold,” the statement said.
The seized gold bars are of 99.9 per cent purity and collectively weigh 83.621 kilograms.
“The market value of the recovered contraband is close to Rs 43 crore (Dh 21,593,893),” the statement said.
The eight carriers have been arrested and remanded to judicial custody.