DRI busts gold smuggling syndicate, seizes over 16 kg gold and Rs 2.65 cr

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has successfully busted a gold smuggling syndicate and seized around 16 kg gold and Rs 2.65 crore cash, officials said on Thursday.

According to the officials, on the basis of a specific intelligence that a syndicate is engaged in smuggling gold and selling in the grey market, a premises used for sale/purchase of smuggled gold, was searched on March 5 and 10.7 kg of smuggled gold of foreign origin, mainly in the form of bars, along with cash of Rs 1.8 crore which are sale proceeds of the smuggled gold were seized. 

They said that during the search, officers identified and intercepted two members of the syndicate and a search was carried out at the residence of one of these members who was a handler for the syndicate. During the search at his residence, smuggled gold weighing 3.77 kg was recovered and it was seized later.

“Based on further information, a search team was deployed to the residence of the masterminds of the syndicate on March 5. Upon seeing the search team, the mastermind managed to throw away incriminating things from his 14th floor residence. Currency to the tune of Rs 60 lakh was recovered from the said premises,” an official said.

During interrogation, the mastermind revealed that he threw his phones and 2 foreign-origin gold bars. After nearly 15 hours of search and follow-up, 3 mobile phones and 2 foreign origin gold bars of 1 kg each, belonging to the mastermind were recovered from two residents of the two housing societies adjacent to the mastermind`s housing society on March 6, he said. 

The officials said that on further information that the mastermind`s wife, suspected to be an active member of the syndicate, attempted to flee in a car. A team was deployed to intercept her in the early morning of March 6 and after nearly 6 hours of pursuit, she was intercepted.

“During interrogation, she revealed that she had managed to get a safe (containing silver and cash which are sale proceeds of smuggled gold) moved from her farmhouse to her associate`s house in the intervening night.  A further search was conducted at her associate`s house wherein 6 kg silver and Rs. 25 lakh cash were recovered,” the official added.

The DRI said that in total, 16.47 kg of smuggled gold valued at Rs. 10.48 crore, sale proceeds of smuggled gold viz. 6 kg of silver and Rs. 2.65 crore cash were seized and 6 persons including the masterminds of the syndicate were arrested.

 Further investigation is underway.

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