Cross-Border Gold Smuggling Racket From Myanmar to Chennai Busted

After weeks of carefully watching a group of passengers who were flying in pairs, either from Kolkata or Delhi into Chennai, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence busted a cross-border gold smuggling group, through Sunday night. The haul is valued at Rs 1.6 crore, as it was pure, crude Burmese gold.

Published: 11th May 2015 06:27 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th May 2015 06:28 PM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: After weeks of carefully watching a group of passengers who were flying in pairs, either from Kolkata or Delhi into Chennai, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence busted a cross-border gold smuggling group, through Sunday night. The haul is valued at Rs 1.6 crore, as it was pure, crude Burmese gold.

The smugglers had been bringing in crude gold bars from Myanmar through the Moreh transit point by road and then flying from Imphal to either Kolkata or Delhi and then on to their fencing destination, Chennai - nearly 3212 kilometres away from the Burmese border. Astonishingly, the smugglers and carriers employed by the gang had become accustomed to carrying the contraband in their rectums for the length of the long journey.

After they had identified the people carrying the gold, two DRI teams lay in wait at the airport to nab the 6 men attempting the gold run on Sunday. "They always travel in pairs and if they get stopped, which is very unlikely with domestic air travel, then they had emergency calling on their mobile phones to tip off the others - who would travel at 3-4 hours intervals on the same journey, by a different flight," said an airport source.

To neutralize this mechanism, the teams picked up Seeni Sabur Mohideen and Jawahar Ali, who arrived from Kolkata on Air India flight AI 765 and then Mohammed Ali Jinna and Nagoor Gani who came in on Spicejet flight SG 622 and finally Jakubar Sadiq Abdul Jaleel and Mohammed Malik Ibunu Thowfic who came from Delhi on AI 540. To keep them from alerting the others, their communication was cut off and they were detained at the airport and interrogated - following which, all six were In custody.

After some initial resistance, they confessed that they were indeed carrying contraband gold in their rectums - a modus operandi that they had carried out at least six times before they were detected and picked up. After they wilfully agreed to expel the contraband in their body cavities, DRI officials waited till they were in possession of the expertly packed gold bars, "Each man had two packets in their rectum, with 3 bars each. These bars were rolled in two layers of carbon or graphite paper and then taped into a smooth surfaced body with black insulation tape. It is virtually undetectable on most scanners and body x-ray machines," said an official. In all, there was 5.9 kg of gold valued at Rs 1.6 crore in the international market.

Smugglers are given constipation pills and often take food supplements and cut their liquid supply while carrying so much contraband in their rectums. The journey is usually done within a day, which is what most international gold smugglers and couriers are used to. All the six men have been charged and remanded to custody.

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