In one of the biggest seizures of smuggled gold in Mangaluru, five kg of the precious metal which is valued to be worth Rs 2 crore was recovered at the Air Cargo Complex on Tuesday. The seizure also led to the arrest of the director of a company allegedly on whose behalf the gold was being smuggled.
Acting on a tip-off the officers of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) Mangaluru and Bengaluru in a coordinated effort unraveled a unique modus of smuggling of gold through Air Cargo Complex, at Old Airport in Bajpe, Mangaluru.
The smuggled gold was concealed in five metal sprockets which were imported by M/s Swaroop Mineral Pvt Ltd of Udupi in the name of “mining conveyor drive chain”.
Officials in the know said that the gold was deftly concealed inside the heavy metal sprockets by way of a groove and gave only a slight hint of tampering on physical examination. The scanning of the said wheels added to the suspicion and finally, the officers could retrieve the gold with the help of a local mechanic and lathe machine at Bajpe.
On examination by the authorized jeweller, five-round plates weighed 4995 grams by net weight after discounting the weight of aluminium coating.
The gold pieces were found to be of 24 karat purity and their current market value was placed at around 2 crores.
The contraband gold was later seized by the officers of DRI under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962.
The active director of M/S Swaroop Mineral Resources Manohar Kumar Poojari involved in the case was arrested in Bengaluru on the same day in a coordinated effort by DRI Bengaluru while Lohith Shriyan, a person hailing from Ashoknagar looking after the logistics of smuggling was also arrested by DRI Mangaluru.
Further investigation in the smuggling case is in progress to unearth the other members of the syndicate and the investors in the case, DRI officials added.