Nearly 1,400 kg smuggled gold worth Rs 490 cr seized by DRI, customs officials this fiscal

New Delhi, Dec 3 (PTI) Nearly 1,400 kg of smuggled gold worth Rs 490 crore was seized by DRI and other customs officials during the ongoing fiscal, according to an official statement issued on Tuesday.

Over 4,000 kg of smuggled gold worth Rs 1,265 crore and foreign currency equivalent to Rs 164 crore were seized by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and other customs wings during the financial year 2018-19.

In the current financial year 2019-20 (till July 2019), 1,390 kg of smuggled gold valued at Rs 490 crore and foreign currency equivalent to Rs 428 crore were seized, the DRI said in the statement.

In the ongoing fiscal, (till July 2019), 78 foreign nationals were arrested for smuggling gold and 23 foreign nationals were held for smuggling foreign currency, it said.

'During the financial year 2018-19, 210 foreign nationals were arrested in smuggling of gold cases and 35 foreign nationals were arrested in smuggling of foreign currency by DRI and other customs formations,' the statement said.

Smuggling of precious metals is a prime vertical of organised crime with direct implications for black money generation and money laundering, the DRI said.

In the last two fiscals, customs has also seized about Rs 253.5 crore (Indian equivalent) of foreign currency being smuggled out of the country, primarily to the Gulf and South East Asian countries, it said.

The revenue intelligence agency is also at the forefront in tackling the menace of drug trafficking.

In 2018-19, the DRI neutralised a number of narcotics and synthetic drugs syndicates, seizing 44.798 metric tonnes of cannabis (ganja) and other narcotics and psychotropic substances such as heroin, cocaine, ketamine and mandrax.

In the last three years (up to December 2018), the DRI has busted several synthetic drug manufacturing factories/ laboratories, illicitly manufacturing fatal drugs such as fentanyl, ketamine, methamphetamine, mephedrone, mandrax, alprazolam, thus hitting at the root of drug production and trafficking.

'Recent instance of trafficking of narcotics through Pakistan via sea route has been uncovered by DRI. A Pakistani flag boat namely ‘Al-Madina’ alongwigh six Pakistani crew members was intercepted in Indian waters near the port of Jakhau. A total 217.856 kg of brown heroin/basic alkaloid drug was seized and seven persons (including six Pakistani crew members) were arrested,' the agency said.

Recently in one other case, the DRI intercepted five Taiwanese passengers, including two women, at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport here, when they were about to depart to Hong Kong and seized foreign currency USD 4,49,600 equivalent to Rs 3.25 crore from their possession, it said. PTI AKV AKV SNE SNE