CHENNAI: Four people have been arrested by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for allegedly trying to smuggle gold valuing about Rs. 6.88 crore into the country from Dubai and Sri Lanka.
According to an official statement, all the four accused the kingpin, his aide and close relative, and two carriers have been remanded in judicial custody.
The statement issued by the agency said that the DRI officials while acting on inputs seized 20.6 kg gold, valued at Rs.6,88 crore on Tuesday, the gold was kept hidden by the syndicate at a residential premise in the city.
The DRI said “Interrogation of the apprehended persons revealed that the Chennai-based kingpin, a resident of Choolaimedu, used to organise operatives who would work in the domestic sector to various airports, collect gold bars from transit passengers at the respective airports and carry them back to Chennai in the domestic sector and hand them over to the kingpin and his aides.”
A BMW car which was used to deliver the smuggled gold and Rs. 21 lakh were also seized. The investigation revealed that the seized gold was smuggled from Dubai to Chennai through Mumbai in this manner, said the statement.
The probe agency further said that “A part of the gold was also smuggled directly from Sri Lanka to India through the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu. Due to strong demand for gold during the festival season, and possibly on account of the steep rise in gold prices in the last quarter, there has been a spurt in the activities of organised gangs indulging in smuggling of gold into India.”