Kolkata, Dec 8 (IANS) Around 66 kg of foreign-origin gold, valued at over Rs 21 crore, was seized in two different search operations and four persons were arrested, an official said on Saturday.
Acting on a tip, a car was intercepted by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) after a high-speed chase near Lucknow on Thursday and 33 gold bars of one kg each valued at Rs 10.56 crore were seized.
“Smuggled gold bars were concealed under a specially made cavity near the driver seat. Two persons were arrested,” an official said.
Information was received by the agency that a smuggling syndicate was actively engaged in smuggling huge quantity of foreign-origin gold from Bhutan into India through West Bengal and sending it to different parts of India, a DRI official said.
In another related operation launched by the agency on Friday, a car along with two occupants was intercepted near Kolkata. From their possession, 33 pieces of foreign origin gold weighing 33 kg and valued at Rs 10.46 crore was seized.
In a follow up action at Siliguri, Rs 3.5 lakh in cash which was suspected to be the proceeds of smuggling was recovered.
During fiscal 2017-18, Indian customs have seized 3.22 tonnes of gold which was 103 per cent more than in 2016-17.
This gold is believed to be smuggled from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and China.