150-crore gold smuggling racket unearthed, two arrested

The gold was concealed in a cylindrical shape in the central lobe of 30 electric breaker machines, said a DRI officer.
The smugglers planned to retrieve the gold after clearance from the customs. (Bloomberg)
The smugglers planned to retrieve the gold after clearance from the customs. (Bloomberg)
Published on May 24, 2022 11:11 PM IST
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ByVijay Kumar Yadav

Mumbai: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Mumbai, on Tuesday arrested two members of an international gold smuggling syndicate and seized gold worth 7.39 crore which was brought from Hong Kong. DRI suspects that the accused are part of the syndicate that has smuggled gold worth 150 crore into the country.

The DRI had received intelligence that the smugglers had managed to conceal gold in a consignment arriving from Hong Kong. The agency also managed to get the bill entry number of the consignment and the airway through which it was supposed to reach Mumbai.

Following this on May 17, the DRI secured the consignment at the Air Cargo Complex in Mumbai, which arrived by a Cathay Pacific Airways flight. On examination, nearly 16 kg of 21 karat smuggled gold valued at 7.39 crore was recovered.

The gold was concealed in a cylindrical shape in the central lobe of 30 electric breaker machines, said a DRI officer.

The smugglers planned to retrieve the gold after clearance from the customs. Further probe revealed that Walking Turtle Services Pvt Ltd was importing the machines and the company’s director, a Haryana resident, was arrested on Tuesday.

The director was part of the gold smuggling syndicate and had rented a 3BHK flat in Kandivli for processing the smuggled gold, officials said, adding that he had also rented commercial premises in Goregaon (E) for the same purpose.

“The director’s SUV was regularly used to ferry the smuggled gold from Air Cargo Complex, Mumbai, to the Kandivali flat and further to an undisclosed location. He has allegedly indulged in smuggling more than 20 times in the past,” DRI sources said.

According to officials, one Kamal from Delhi is said to be the mastermind of the racket. He is suspected to be involved in the creation and management of multiple companies and firms for illegal activities, including the smuggling of gold, and Walking Turtle Services Pvt Ltd is one such company.

“Kamal was controlling the said company and was paying regular remuneration to the director. He had purchased the company Walking Turtle Services Pvt Ltd in the name of the director. He is the key link of the syndicate and the main coordinator between the persons who deal in smuggling activities and the persons getting it concealed in the machine abroad,” said the DRI source.

Both, the director and Kamal have been arrested and were produced before a court. The director was remanded to judicial custody, while Kamal was remanded to DRI custody.

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