The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence busted a smuggling racket, arrested two persons and recovered gold biscuits worth Rs 3.77 crore from them, said officials. Acting on a tip-off, officials intercepted the two accused as they were deboarding a Gede-Ranaghat local train at Majhdia railway station, near the India-Bangladesh border on January 7.
The gold had been concealed in specially-tailored waist belts.
“DRI received an input that a syndicate is smuggling foreign-origin gold from Bangladesh into India through the India-Bangladesh border in West Bengal, and from there, sending it to different parts of the country… It was a well-planned operation against an organised smuggling syndicate. Smuggled gold weighing 11.66 and valued at Rs 3.77 crore was seized,” said the officer.
Officials revealed that in the current financial year, DRI has seized 395 kg of gold and gold jewellery valued at Rs 123 crore from Bengal and North Eastern states.
“The seized gold is believed to be smuggled through India’s land borders with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and China,” said the DRI source.
Officials said gold traders exploit international price differences for gold, selling it to smugglers who transport the metal out of the country.
“Indian consumers have been resolute in their demand for gold despite adverse conditions,” said an intelligence agency official.
Parts of Kolkata such as Bowbazar and Burrabazar are emerging as hubs for international gold smuggling circles, due in large part to the number of land borders West Bengal shares with other countries.
“Traders in Kolkata markets turn the gold into ornaments which are sent to other parts of the country,” said an intelligence official.