Ten members of an inter-state gemstone smuggling racket were arrested by the Jharpokharia police in Mayurbhanj district on Wednesday. The smugglers from Jharkhand, Kalahandi, Balangir and Sonepur areas have been produced in the court and remanded in judicial custody.
Police have seized cash worth Rs1.23 lakh and a motorcycle from their possession. Acting on a tip-off, a team of police officials led by IIC Trilochan Sethy raided the Bombay Chhack and Kapadia area while the smugglers were finalising a deal. They were caught them red-handed. The accused persons have been identified as Mahavir Naik, Balaram Naik of Jharkhand, Dwitikrushna Meher of Kalahandi, Nityananda Sahu of Saraskana, Ashok Agarwal and Subash Agarwal of Balangir, Basudev Das, Purna Chandra Maity and Anand Meher of Sonepur and Prakash Nayak of Bangriposi.
Sources said smuggling of gemstones from Mayurbhanj district had become a lucrative trade over the years.