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Indian authorities seize 121 kg gold along northeast smuggling trail 

Gold seizures of over 121 kg in the month of September indicate a spurt in the smuggling of yellow metal through the porous borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar in Northeast India.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) reported 11 cases of gold seizures of 121 kg last month showing that the Northeast corridor is still extensively being used by smugglers deploying ingenious ways of concealment.

Acting on specific intelligence and in three coordinated interceptions at Patna, Delhi, and Mumbai, the DRI seized 65.46 kg of foreign-origin gold worth Rs 33.40 crore which was on its way from Aizwal to Mumbai in a domestic courier consignment. The gold was concealed in gunny bags declared as clothes.

In yet another case of smuggling through the same route, the DRI seized another big haul of smuggled gold weighing approximately 23.23 kg and valued at approximately Rs 11.65 crore which was being smuggled from Myanmar.

Specific intelligence indicated that 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. To interdict the contraband, coordinated action was undertaken on September 28 and 29.

The DRI officers mounted surveillance on the highway connecting Siliguri and 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, 23.23 kg of gold concealed in the vehicle body in the form of 21 cylindrical pieces, was recovered.

The gold in this case was cast in order to fit in the specifically made cavity inside the cross-member metal pipe connecting the right and left rails of the chassis behind the rear wheels and suspension in both vehicles.

The recovered gold had been smuggled into India from Myanmar through the Zokhawthar border in Mizoram. Four persons have been arrested in the instant case so far.

In another nine cases in September, DRI recovered and seized 27 kg of smuggled gold from various carriers coming from the Northeastern part of the country. These series of detections have helped unearth a novel modus operandi of smuggling foreign-origin gold into India from the region.

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