In what could be a relief for ex-Army major Saurabh Saharan, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Ahmedabad, submitted a report before a Metropolitan Court here revealing that the 52 gold bars that it had seized have been found to be made of copper and lead. The DRI told the court it should decide on the bail application of Saharan and a co-accused since the case has become a bailable offence.
DRI had arrested Saharan, a resident of Gurgaon, and his friend Surender Singh Dagar, a resident of Delhi, on April 26 from two different hotels located at Ashram road and had recovered 52 gold bars from their custody. After the arrest, Saharan moved an application seeking bail, before the court claiming that the gold bars were not real.
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Following the application, DRI sent a sample for testing to the Gandhinagar-based Forensic Science Laboratory. DRI submitted the report — that revealed the gold bars are made of copper and lead — before the court on Wednesday. It says that the bars have “yellowish coloured metal of thickness about 0.02 mm” which was found to be gold.
“The value of the consignment is now below Rs 1 crore and, therefore, the case in hand becomes a bailable offence under the Customs Act. However, it is not the case that DRI has stopped the investigation. We are investigating as for what purpose the accused brought the consignment and from whom,” Sudhir Gupta, lawyer for DRI, told the court. The DRI investigation is yet to establish the purpose of bringing such a consignment from Dubai. Sources said that this consignment is identical to what Special Operation Group, a wing of Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch, had caught from Ahmedabad airport earlier this year.
The consignment of 60 kg gold, caught by the SOG, was valued by a government approved valuer who found it to be pure gold, also originating from Dubai. Sources said that both the consignments are identical, therefore investigation is to find the purpose of bringing fake gold from Dubai.