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Gold September 11, 2023 02:50:25 PM

DRI Busts Foreign-Origin Gold Smuggling Syndicate

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
Acting on the intelligence, the DRI team intercepted a security employee working with a private airline.

DRI Busts Foreign-Origin Gold Smuggling Syndicate

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): Around 7.4 kg of foreign-origin gold worth ₹4.51 crore was seized by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)’s Mumbai unit at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai on Saturday.

The DRI busted a syndicate allegedly involved in smuggling gold dust-in-wax and arrested six persons under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962, including two alleged carriers, a security employee of a private airline, and a father-son duo who ran a facility at Kalbadevi, south Mumbai, specialising in the melting of smuggled gold for further sale, for their alleged involvement in the smuggling operations, sources said.

The agency also seized gold weighing 4.28 kg worth ₹3.32 lakh from the premises of the melting facility on suspicions that they were proceeds from the sale of the smuggled gold. The operators of the smuggling ring, who are suspected to be members of an international syndicate, allegedly smuggled gold dust-in-wax via carriers, who allegedly took a commission for the same.

The agency had received intelligence that a passenger arriving at the Mumbai International Airport from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, at around 9.30am on Saturday would be carrying some contraband with him. As per the input, the passenger was supposed to leave the contraband in the aircraft, and the said contraband would then be picked up by unknown ground staff of the airline, who would smuggle it out of the airport.

Acting on the intelligence, the DRI team intercepted a security employee working with a private airline. The frisking of the employee in front of independent panchas yielded allegedly two black packets containing gold dust in wax, weighing around 1.7 kg, concealed in his shoes (one packet in each shoe).

The employee told the agency that the two gold packets were left by a particular passenger in the seat pocket of seat 22f, where he sat in the aircraft. The accused further said that he had allegedly been asked to pick up the gold packets and smuggle them outside the airport without declaring the same to the Customs authorities. The airline employee said that he would get ₹50,000 from the smuggling syndicate for pick-up of the gold left by any passenger and that he had been working for the smugglers since January this year.

The DRI, thereafter, identified the concerned passenger and questioned him after intercepting him at the Baggage Scanning Machines - area. The passenger revealed that he had allegedly been asked by a person to carry the gold and leave it behind in the aircraft and that he was asked to leave the airport and then contact a man, who was in touch with the airline employee too, to tell him about the gold packets he had left behind and to collect his commission from him.

The DRI zeroed in on the man, who was in contact with the airline employee and the passenger, who allegedly confessed to his role in picking up smuggled gold packets within a 2-km radius of the airport on behalf of the smuggling syndicate for handing them over to the latter. The accused said that he got allegedly a commission of around ₹3, 000 per such pickup of gold packets and that he would earn up to four lakh per month from such activities (up to four such pick-ups per day). The accused also said that he used to allegedly hand over the gold packets in turn to either a representative of the smuggling syndicate or to a man, who along with his son, operated a melting facility for smuggled gold.

Courtesy: www.hindustantimes.com

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