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The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials arrested a 27-year-old man at Kolkata airport and seized gold biscuits worth nearly Rs 3 crore from him. The accused had allegedly smuggled the bars into India from Myanmar.
DRI sources said the accused, Zonunsanga, was intercepted on Thursday during security checking while he was disembarking from the aerobridge into the terminal building. On a tip-off, DRI officials carried out special checks with the help of CISF personnel, they said. Zonunsanga, a native of Mizoram, had arrived at the airport from Aizawl on a Jet airways plane. DRI seized 9.96 kg gold bars (six pieces each weighing 1.66 kg) having a market value of approximately Rs 3 crore, sources said.
The accused had hidden the biscuits in his backpack. He had been booked under Section 104 of the Customs Act and produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Barasat Court, they added. Zonunsanga had studied in Delhi University and was working as a carrier of smuggled gold to make easy money, sources said.
“Myanmar has emerged as a major supplier and transit country for smuggling the yellow metal into India. The porous India-Myanmar border in Manipur and Mizoram has seen a consistent rise in smuggling of gold. DRI has filed several cases pertaining to smuggling of gold through Moreh, a town on the Indo-Myanmar border in Manipur, and Zokhawthar, a small town on the Indo-Myanmar border near Champhai in Mizoram,” said a DRI source.
“The number of cases (of gold smuggling) being detected indicates an organised smuggling channel, whereby smuggled gold is brought clandestinely across the border, moved to intermediate points such as Guwahati and Siliguri by road, often defaced or melted to remove foreign markings and further transported to Kolkata/Mumbai/Chennai/Delhi and other major Indian cities by rail or air,” the source added.