Guwahati: Railway police seize 20 kg of gold worth Rs 6 crore, four held
The government railway police recovered 20 kg of gold from four people travelling to Delhi by train at the Guwahati station on Friday. Two of the accused are women.
This is the biggest haul of the kind since 2015, when 37 kg of the precious metal – amounting to Rs 9 crore – was seized from a passenger at the city airport.
Pankaj Kalita, officer in-charge at the Guwahati railway station, said the four Mizos boarded the train from Tripura Sundari in Agartala on Thursday afternoon. “After the train arrived at the station around 7.30 am, we conducted a routine check to recover three gold bars each from four trolley bags they were carrying. The 12 gold bars, weighing 20 kg and worth Rs 6 crore, had been smuggled from Myanmar,” Kalita told HT.
The Tripura Sundari Express is a weekly train that covers 18 stations between Agartala and Anand Vihar, East Delhi, over a period of 48 hours.
“The four, identifed as Hemanga Mawwa, Jacob Larene Nawwa, Lalkhnag Sangi and PC Changkim, said they hail from Aizawl. They were arrested from a second class air-conditioned coach. We will hand them over to the customs department, along with the gold, after questioning,” Kalita said.
Guwahati has become a hub for smuggling of gold from Myanmar, via Manipur and Mizoram. In this case, the smuggled gold was destined for Delhi and other north Indian cities, the officer said.
Police got wind of the gold smuggling racket after kingpin Narendra Jain and his aide Sartaz were apprehended in September last year. The Delhi zonal unit of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had arrested Jain from the Indira Gandhi International Airport after receiving a tip-off. Sartaz was later arrested from Chandni Chowk.
Jain told police that his group made as many as 617 trips to smuggle 7,000 kg of gold worth Rs 2,000 crore from Guwahati to Delhi since 2014. The precious metal was moulded in the form of 24 carat biscuits for easy transportation.
Jain was earlier arrested for trying to smuggle 37 kg of gold through Guwahati airport.
In recent times, gold smugglers have started preferring the Mizoram route over the Manipur one to smuggle gold. Even armed forces personnel have been apprehended with precious metal sourced from Myanmar.
In May last year, Mizoram Police arrested colonel Jasjit Singh for allegedly masterminding the robbery of gold biscuits worth Rs 14.5 crore that was being smuggled from Myanmar in a vehicle. Colonel Singh, a commandant of the 39 Assam Rifles, was later suspended.
The driver of the vehicle, C Lalnunfela, had complained to the Aizawl police on April 21 last year that Assam Rifles personnel waylaid him and robbed 52 gold biscuits at gunpoint.