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DRI busts major gold smuggling racket at Delhi airport

In the month of June alone, this syndicate has reportedly smuggled around 23 kgs gold through Delhi airport

PTI | New Delhi |

A major gold-smuggling syndicate, that has smuggled in over 100 kgs yellow metal in past one year, active at Delhi and Dhaka international airports has been busted by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).

Eight people, including the mastermind father-son duo, have been arrested in the case and 6.5 kgs gold, with an estimated market value of Rs 2.1 crore, has been seized recently, a statement issued today by the DRI said. The father-son duo are well settled and known traders of papers having turnover of several crores of rupees.

“This syndicate has indulged in smuggling of gold since past one year and so far has smuggled in around 100 kgs of gold through Dhaka international airport, Bangladesh and Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport, Delhi,” it said.

The DRI has found the involvement of some insiders who were issued with the identity cards by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) in this gold smuggling chain.

“The father-son duo used to arrange carriers from Delhi, Rajasthan and adjoining areas through their agents. Investigation so far has revealed that another set of people which are part of syndicate are stationed at Dubai and are involved in purchase of gold and ensuring customs clearance at Dubai airport,” the DRI said.

On their arrival at Delhi airport, the carriers used to hand over the gold bars to an employee, working in Airtel kiosks, in the passenger toilet at IGI airport, who in turn used to deliver it to another person outside the airport, it said.

“Hawala channels were being used to transfer money from India to Dubai. The mastermind of the syndicate gives commission to every member of the syndicate depending upon his role,” the agency said explaining the modus operandi.

In the month of June alone, this syndicate has smuggled around 23 kgs gold through Delhi airport, it said. “This syndicate has a nexus with some employees working at Airtel kiosks at IGI airport, who have valid ID cards issued by BCAS. Having access to the arrival, departure and the security hold area, these persons (would) roam freely around the airport without raising suspicion and taking delivery of smuggled gold consignments from the international passengers and (would) further transfer the smuggled gold to persons waiting outside the airport,” the DRI said.

As these employees had unhindered access inside the airport and being the BCAS card holders, they were subjected to lesser scrutiny by the security agencies, it said.

“There are similar other syndicates working at the IGI airport who are also on the radar of DRI,” the statement said.