Moreh, May 15, 2019:
In an interesting development, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized gold bars worth nearly Rupees eight crores in Manipur. The gold was smuggled into India from Myanmar, and arrested six people for allegedly being a part of the smuggling racket, according to an official statement issued on Tuesday.
The gold was allegedly smuggled into India from Myanmar through the porous Indo-Myanmar border at Moreh in Manipur.
Acting on specific inputs, DRI officials on Monday seized 24.15 kg gold bars valued at Rupees 7.99 crore from the possession of six people who were travelling by bus from Manipur to Siliguri via Coochbehar, the statement said.
The six people who have been arrested are residents of Manipur and were engaged in carrying smuggled foreign-origin gold for quite some time now, the DRI said in the statement.
In the last financial year, the DRI had seized over 464 kg of gold within the geographical precincts of West Bengal and Sikkim, smuggled from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and even China, which has been valued at Rs 145.69 crore in 46 such cases.
The directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) claims that their investigation revealed that a “strong network” of international smugglers from Myanmar is using the Northeast and North Bengal’s borders with Myanmar, China, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh to smuggle gold into India.
The smugglers’ network in Myanmar brings in gold mainly from China and uses the borders with Moreh in Manipur and Champai district in Mizoram. Siliguri in North Bengal is also used to smuggle Chinese gold via Nepal and Bhutan.
Sharing 98% its borders with four countries, Northeast India is increasingly being used as a transit by Myanmar-based smugglers to pump in Chinese gold into India.
China is the world’s largest gold producer followed by Australia, Russia and the United States.
It is estimated that a smuggler earns at least Rs 4 to 5 lakh from one kg gold in the black market.