In a major gold smuggling bust, the Delhi Zonal Unit of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized 55.61 kg of foreign-origin gold valued at Rs 28 crores from eight persons at two locations - Delhi and Lucknow, said the Ministry of Finance on Thursday.
According to an official release, the DRI received specific inputs regarding the smuggling of a huge quantity of foreign origin gold from Myanmar into India through the Indo-Myanmar border.
"Five passengers were intercepted by officers of DRI, Delhi Zonal Unit near Delhi, and three passengers were intercepted by the officers of DRI, Lucknow Zonal Unit at Lucknow. A search of the persons resulted in the recovery and seizure of 335 gold bars, weighing 55.61 kg. The said eight persons have been apprehended," it added.
Keeping constant vigil over these routes, and with a view to thwarting any large-scale smuggling efforts, the Ministry said that the officers of DRI have made a string of spectacular gold seizures in the past six months. These include the seizure of 51.33 kg of smuggled gold in November 2020 by the DRI Guwahati Zonal Unit, seizure of 84 kg and 66 kg of smuggled gold in August and November 2020, respectively, by the DRI Zonal Unit.
"The spurt of economic activity seen after the lifting of COVID-related lockdowns throughout the country, combined with the pent-up demand for gold, coincided with a surge in such smuggling activities. The blocking of air routes through the lockdown period also saw a significant shift in the modus operandi of smugglers from the air routes to the land route through the Indo-Myanmar border," the Ministry said.