Wed, 19 Jan 2022

New Delhi [India], November 19 (ANI): The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) held four foreign nationals and recovered around 86 kg gold worth Rs 42 crore from their possession.

According to DRI, after suspecting several Indian and foreign were involved in gold smuggling, they called an intelligence operation, code-named 'Molten Metal'.

"The suspects were smuggling gold into India from Hong Kong using the air cargo route. The intelligence indicated that the gold smuggled in the form of machinery parts was being melted and moulded into bar/cylinder shapes before being disposed of in the local market," officials said.

After getting a tip-off, DRI officers examined an import consignment at Air Cargo Complex, Indira Gandhi International Airport.

During the examination, the consignment was found to contain electroplating machines fitted with transformers, officials added.

The 'EI' laminates of the transformers were found to have been made of gold-coated with nickel, essentially to hide the identity of the gold.

"Approximately one kg of gold was recovered from each of the 80 imported electroplating machines," said a senior official.

He added that further recovery of around 5 kgs of foreign-origin gold smuggled into India adopting a similar modus operandi was made from a Delhi-based jeweller earlier.

During search operations conducted in several rented properties in Chattarpur and Gurgaon, four foreign nationals (two from South Korea and one each from China and Taiwan) were found to be using sophisticated metallurgical techniques to convert the smuggled gold in the form of 'EI' laminates into bar/cylindrical form for further distribution.

These activities were being conducted by the foreign nationals in rented farmhouses/apartments in plush localities in South Delhi and Gurgaon and extreme precautions were being taken by them to keep the illegal nature of their activities hidden even from their immediate neighbours.

"We recovered gold, total weighing 85.535 kgs worth Rs 42 crore. The four foreign nationals involved in the smuggling activities have been apprehended and are being questioned," the official added.

During questioning, it has been revealed that two of the foreign nationals had stuck up a close relationship while being behind bars for their previous offences of gold smuggling.

Further investigation is in progress. (ANI)

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