The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) launched an operation codenamed ‘Operation Eastern Gateway’, which involved developing the intelligence over a substantial period of time to bust the smuggling modus operandi. A syndicate based in Bangladesh, Tripura, Assam and West Bengal was smuggling huge quantities of Gold from Bangladesh to India through Indo- Bangladesh border in the state of Tripura.
In the operation, various teams of DRI were strategically placed at different locations in the states of West Bengal, Assam and Tripura including at Indo-Bangladesh border so that the modus operandi used by 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 8 persons were apprehended red-handed.
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, collectively weighing 18.66 kg, valued at Rs 10.66 crores. These strips were hidden in specially-tailored waist belts worn by each of them.
Simultaneously, the team at Agartala apprehended one person who was driving a four-wheeler near 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.
Yet 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 3.50 kg valued at Rs 2.03 crore, from their possession.
Gold and vehicle seized by DRI teams at Agartala and Karimganj
In the said operation, smuggled gold cumulatively weighing 24.4 kg, valued at approx. Rs 14 crore, was seized and all the eight apprehended persons were arrested. Further investigations are going on. The all-India gold seizure by DRI in this financial year has crossed 1,000 kg.
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