In one of the biggest hauls this year, sleuths of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) busted a major gold smuggling racket, seizing 58.1 kg of the precious metal worth Rs 18.3 crore and arresting 12 people, including a woman.
Having gathered intelligence that gold bars were being smuggled into India from Myanmar and then transported to different states by train, a special team rushed to a suspected hideout near Rabindra Sarani area in North Kolkata.
The 12 accused were found in two guesthouses, along with 350 gold biscuits. The operation lasted several hours.
All 12 accused are residents of Manipur and Mizoram. During interrogation, they revealed that they were going to hand over the gold to their local contacts. They have been sent to judicial custody till August 24. “We are trying to track the gang’s local contacts,” said a police officer.
DRI officials said that the seized gold biscuits are of superior quality and have Myanmarese markings on them. The biscuits had been concealed in the accused’s clothes and in small instruments recovered from them.
According to sources, the gang had been running a gold smuggling racket in the city for a long time.
They are also suspected to have been in close contact with Mithesh Jain, who was arrested by DRI last week when they busted another gold smuggling racket, involving 700 of kg gold being smuggled to Mumbai over a period of 1 and half years. According to the DRI, the three-member gang had smuggled gold worth over Rs 175 crore in the past 18 months.
Two of the accused, identified as Suresh Rajpurohit and Natwar Chawda, were arrested when they were trying to smuggle 12 kg of the precious metal into a Mumbai-bound train in Kolkata. The gold was reportedly sent from Dubai to Bangladesh, from where it travelled to Kolkata via the border.
During interrogation, the duo confessed that they were only carriers and worked for Mitesh Jain, owner of Hidant Creations at Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazar.
When Jain was called in for questioning, he admitted to having received 700 kg of smuggled gold from Kolkata over the past 18 months, and named a few smugglers that were active in Bengal.