DRI seizes 48.20 kg Gold Paste worth 25.26 crore under Operation Goldmine at Surat International Airport

DRI seizes 48.20 kg Gold Paste - Operation Goldmine at Surat International Airport -DRI -DRI seizes Gold Paste - DRI seizes - taxscan

As part of Operation Goldmine, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) confiscated 48.20 kg of Gold Paste at Surat International Airport. This seizure represented one of the largest amounts of gold ever intercepted at an airport in recent years.

According to the information, the officials from the DRI apprehended three passengers who had arrived from Sharjah via Air India Express Flight No. IX172 at Surat International Airport on 7th July 2023.

These individuals were suspected of smuggling gold in paste form into India. Subsequent to the examination of their hand baggage and check-in luggage revealed the presence of 43.5 kg of gold paste concealed within 20 packets of white colour, cleverly hidden within five black belts.

During the interrogation of the passengers, it was uncovered that the concealed gold was intended for smuggling into India, facilitated by corrupt officials stationed at Surat International Airport.

The plan involved exchanging the gold in a restroom located before the immigration area, aiming to avoid scrutiny and inspection by authorities. Following subsequent actions, an additional 4.67 kg of gold paste was discovered abandoned in the men’s washroom adjacent to the immigration checkpoint, which was handed over to the DRI by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

In total, 48.20 kg of gold paste recovered from the passengers underwent extraction, resulting in the retrieval of over 42 kg of gold with a purity of 99%, valued at approximately Rs. 25.26 crore.

The individuals involved were interviewed and their statements were documented under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962. As a result of their respective roles, three passengers and one airport official have been taken into custody.

The ongoing investigation suggests the presence of an organized smuggling network operating within Surat International Airport. Further inquiries are underway to determine the involvement of other individuals, including airport officials, with the aim of dismantling the entire syndicate.

The smuggling syndicate’s operations have been interfered with as a result of the DRI’s intervention. These seizures are a vital part of the DRI’s continuous and committed efforts to stop the illegal smuggling of expensive goods into the nation.

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