CHENNAI: After weeks of carefully watching a group of passengers who were flying in pairs, either from Kolkata or Delhi into Chennai, sleuths of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) busted a cross-border gold smuggling group on Sunday. The haul of pure crude Burmese gold is valued at Rs 1.6 crore.
The gang had been smuggling 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 its fencing destination, Chennai - nearly 3212 kilometres from the Myanmar border. The smugglers and carriers employed by the gang used to carry the contraband in their rectums for the length of the journey.
After they identified the people carrying the gold, two DRI teams lay in wait at the airport to nab the 6 men on Sunday. “They always travelled in pairs and if they get stopped, which is very unlikely in domestic air travel, they had emergency calling on their mobile phones to tip off the others who would travel at 3-4 hours interval on the same route 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 by 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 taken into custody.
After initial resistance, the six reportedly confessed that they were indeed carrying contraband gold in their rectums, a modus operandi they used at least six times earlier. After they wilfully agreed to evacuate the contraband, DRI officials waited till they were in possession of the expertly packed gold bars, “Each man had two packets in his rectum, containing 3 bars each. These bars were rolled in two layers of carbon or graphite paper and taped into a smooth surfaced body with black insulation tape,,” said an official.