Mumbai: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Saturday seized 33 kilograms of gold bars worth Rs 10.56 crore from the cargo terminal at Mumbai airport. The gold allegedly made its way into the country via the Indo-Myanmar border, officials said. The officials arrested seven persons in connection with the seizure and stated that the accused are part of a smuggling racket that operates from the porous border.
All seven have been booked for smuggling. The officials have also secured their custody to ascertain the identities of their accomplices and uncover the larger racket.
Investigations have revealed that the smugglers succeeded in getting at least twelve consignments of the precious metal across the border. Apparently, they had passed the yellow metal off as jewellery. The gold bars were primarily transported to Mumbai from Kolkata, Chennai, Coimbatore and Hyderabad through domestic air cargo. The DRI is trying to identify other airports where similar activities had taken place.
The probe also revealed that the gold bars were apparently smuggled into the country through various ports and then brought to Mumbai via domestic airlines to avoid stringent checking at the city's two ports.
The officials received specific information over the smuggling from cargo of the said airlines.
The officials conducted extensive searches at Concor Air’s facility in Mumbai and seized the gold bars.
“The seizure made from Mumbai includes foreign-marked gold bars smuggled from the porous border and unmarked melted gold bars (999 purity).
“We are investigating the whole case to ascertain the routes these smugglers took before loading it on domestic airlines for internal transit,” a DRI official said.