Indo-Myanmar border becomes hotspot for gold smugglers
STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 7th May: With increasing incidents of gold seizure in the state, Indo-Myanmar border has become a hotspot for gold smugglers of late.
According to report from Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), around 7000 kg of gold worth around Rs 2000 crore have been seized along the porous border areas.
Source said that around 50 kg of gold smuggled through Indo-Myanmar border have been seized since January this year. The gold were seized either at Imphal International Airport, along Indo-Myanmar Road and other states after smuggling through Manipur.
The DRI report says that frequencies of gold smuggled through Indo-Myanmar border is increasing alarmingly as compared to other routes. The report also cites strict security measures taken up in other states to check gold smuggling through air route as it is becoming an increasing trend. Smugglers brought the gold from Tamu in Myanmar near Manipur-Myanmar border and smuggled it to other states of the country.
Among the major seizures since January this year, Assam Rifles seized 3 kg of gold near Indo-Myanmar border on January 7. Another 15 kg of gold smuggled through Manipur was also seized from Guwahati on January 11.
On February 5, authority seized 7 kg of gold in Kolkata, which were smuggled through Indo-Myanmar border. Assam Rifles seized 16 kg of gold from Khudengthabi area on March 10. Authority also seized 3.5 kg of gold from Guwahati on April 1.
Two persons were arrested from Imphal International Airport on April 24 and May 2 while trying to smuggle 3.5 kg and 1.5 kg of gold respectively by concealing them in their rectum.
With gold smuggling being a high profit business, major syndicates from different parts of the country are eying the Indo-Myanmar border in Manipur as an easy route for smuggling of gold into the country. One kg of gold is sold anywhere between Rs 30 to 32 lakh and syndicates spend Rs 2.5 to 2.7 lakh while smuggling one kg of gold.
Another source said that increasing trend of smuggling gold through Indo-Myanmar border is an outcome of dropping gold from among the list of free trade items between India and South Korea. Gold was dropped from the list after smuggling syndicates began rampant misuse of duty free gold import from South Korea.