The arrest of a 45-year-old woman in Friday’s gold smuggling case revealed that she was mere a carrier working for a syndicate headed by a Dubai-based man of Indian origin, showed investigation led by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
A mother of two boys, the woman, who worked in a Dubai school from 2001 to 2007, is from Vasai and was arrested at the Mumbai airport for trying to smuggle 6kg of gold worth Rs1.16 crore to Dubai. The yellow metal was concealed in bubble wrappers.
According to officials, the syndicate has a multi-layered modus operandi involving the mastermind, carriers, receivers and end-buyers, who are usually jewellers. It employs women for its smuggling capers to dodge security officers at airports, a top DRI official said.
“We are trying to unravel the role of various players and are investigating about the mastermind,” said a the officials, adding, “We suspect that the syndicate is operating for a long time.” The accused has been remanded in judicial custody till January 21.
“The group is headed by an Indian-origin mastermind who has now settled in Dubai. The former teachers was introduced to him by her aunt who is staying at Mazgaon. We have conducted searches at Vasai and Mazgaon,” said a high-ranking DRI officer.
To check if the aunt has been involved in the previous smuggling cases, the DRI has summoned her and is likely quiz her on Monday . “We will check her travel details for the same,” said the officer.
DRI sources said the arrested woman was to be paid commission. “She told us that she was going to get the money in cash by the receiver and the mastermind would have deposited the money in her account,” said the officer.
The agency officials stated that carriers are lured into smuggling by quick money. “A carrier is usually paid some Rs20,000 to Rs 25,000. The syndicate scout for women so that agencies will not suspect them upon their arrival at the Mumbai airport,” said the officer. She was a teacher in a Montessori school, Dubai, from 2001 to 2007.
She returned to India in 2007 and since then she has been a housewife.