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DRI Seizes over 100 Kg Smuggled Gold Worth Rs 51 Crore

Seven Sudanese among Ten, held in a Pan India operation codenamed “ Golden Dawn”

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

INDIA. Mumbai: In a pan-India operation, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) busted a gold smuggling syndicate of Sudanese nationals operating through the Nepal border and seized 101.7 kg of smuggled gold, valued at about Rs 51 crore, early this week.

In operation called “Golden Dawn,” the DRI seized foreign currency worth Rs. 74 lakh and Indian currency worth Rs. 63 lakhs. They also arrested 7 Sudanese and 3 Indian citizens, according to an official statement here.

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The DRI intercepted the smugglers at Patna (Bihar), Pune, and Mumbai (in Maharashtra). In Mumbai, the raids were conducted at Colaba and Zaveri Bazar in south Mumbai. 

The seized gold, mostly in paste form, was brought to Patna through the India-Nepal border and then transported via train or air to different parts of the country, largely Mumbai. The contraband included about 20.2 kg of smuggled gold in assorted forms seized from other Mumbai premises to extract and store smuggled gold. 

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Three Indians were apprehended in this follow-up action. They included two brothers, Saif Sayyed Khan and Shamsher, operating from Colaba in south Mumbai, who used to purchase the gold from foreign nationals and sell it to a merchant, Manish Prakash Jain, operating from Zaveri Bazar. Jain was said to have been involved in the clandestine deal earlier too. 

The DRI officials intercepted three Sudanese nationals late at night on February 19 while boarding a train from Patna railway station for Mumbai. A paste containing gold weighing 37.126 kg in 40 packets was recovered from two Sudanese nationals who had ingeniously concealed it in specially made cavities of their sleeveless jackets. The third person was the handler, coordinating the smuggling activity at the border area and arranging the transport of the smuggled gold.

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The second set of two Sudanese women nationals was held on February 20 in Pune while traveling from Hyderabad to Mumbai via bus, and 5.615 kg of gold in assorted forms concealed in their handbags was recovered from them.

The third set of two Sudanese nationals traveling to Mumbai from Patna was intercepted at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus on the Central Railway in Mumbai on the same day. A paste containing gold weighing 38.76 kg in 40 packets was recovered from them.

DRI has earlier unearthed different modus operandi of smuggling foreign-origin gold into India, such as from the north-eastern parts of the country either through courier routes of logistics companies, using concealment methods in vehicles, in person by bus, train, flight, etc., or recovering gold from the seabed off the Tamil Nadu coast after smugglers threw it away from a fishing boat, etc., apart from the traditional modes used by crooks. The recently detected gold smuggling in paste form is a relatively new method. 

Forex Seized

In another development, a passenger, Poonam Sombaya (53), travelling on an American passport, was arrested along with foreign exchange worth 10 lakhs US dollars and 37 Singapore dollars (worth Rs 08.36 crore) by the Customs officials at Mumbai airport. The foreign exchange was hidden in a bag.

Also Read: DRI Seizes Gold Worth Rs 21 Cr in Mumbai, Arrests One Person


  • Raju Vernekar

    Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

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