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Gold Rush: How Assam & NE Turning Into A Den of Gold Smuggling

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At least 191.062 kg was seized between January and November this year by DRI from the seven NE states
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"Gold on the Highway": DRI seized over 208 kilo Gold from NE highways
Representational image

Guwahati: The massive scale of illegal smuggling of gold from across the borders into the northeastern states can be gauged with the fact that around 900 Kgs of smuggled gold was seized in Assam and other northeastern states between 2019 and November 2022.

Sources in the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) revealed that while some 166.849 kg of illegal gold was seized in 2019, around 242.845 kg was seized in 2020, 296.580 kg was seized in 2021, and 191.062 kg was seized between January and November this year.

DRI said that there has been a spurt in the smuggling of gold through the northeast’s porous borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar.

A report titled ‘Smuggling in India’ by the DRI revealed that due to intensive vigilance by DRI and other agencies over a period of time, the smugglers were opting for various modus operandi to sneak into the region and smuggle gold.

“While using the air route, the carriers mostly conceal the gold in their rectums, baggage and belongings. In the recent past, gold has been recovered from the smugglers in the form of thin foils, beadings of suitcases, paste and even powder,” the report said.

DRI sleuths have also seized illegal gold which was moulded into various shapes such as sheets, thin rods, square pieces etc. and concealed in various electronic goods like used laptops, tabs and trolley suitcases, which were brought into India as checked-in baggage by passengers returning from abroad.

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