DRI seizes over 100 kg gold smuggled from abroad; 7 arrested

New Delhi, Oct 27 (PTI) In a major crackdown on smugglers, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized over 100 kg gold in 48 hours during multi-city raids conducted by it, according to an official statement issued Saturday.

It said the DRI officials seized 55 kg of gold bars (55 bars of 1 kg each) smuggled from neighbouring countries into India through land border.

The smuggled gold was seized from two persons travelling by a vehicle near West Bengal's Siliguri on October 26 evening, the statement issued by the DRI said.

The smuggled gold bars were concealed in a specially-prepared cavity under the driver's seat of the intercepted vehicle, the probe agency said.

The gold bars, all of them of 99.99 per cent purity, have distinct Chinese and Australian foreign origin markings, it said.

The gold bars were supposed to be delivered by the accused to a recipient at Siliguri for its onward transportation, the DRI said.

Both the apprehended persons have been arrested, it said.

In another operation conducted Saturday here, three persons, carrying 34 kg of smuggled gold (34 bars of one kg each), were intercepted by the DRI at the New Delhi Railway station.

"This consignment is also suspected to have been smuggled into India through the land border with the neighbouring countries. In this operation, one foreign national was also arrested. The smuggled gold was found to be of Chinese and Swiss origin," the release said.

In four other operations across the country in 48 hours, the DRI seized another 13 kg gold smuggled into India on flights arriving at Chennai, Bengaluru, Madurai and Indore airports from Colombo and Singapore, it said.

In three out of these four cases, the gold was concealed under the life jacket pouch and hollow pipe under the aircraft seats, the DRI said.

In all these cases, over 100 kg gold valued at Rs 32 crore was seized and seven persons, including a Bhutanese national, have been arrested.

There have been a series of major seizures in the past few weeks by the DRI, including seizures of gold smuggled into India across land borders, with China, Myanmar, Bhutan and on flights arriving from Dubai and Bangkok.

This has been accompanied with a series of seizures of high-value foreign currency being smuggled out of the country.

"Gold and foreign currency smuggling seems to be peaking due to the forthcoming festive season resulting in high demand for gold in India," the DRI said.

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