The Kerala Excise Department, who were informed of an illegal transit of gold and narcotics from Karnataka through the Kerala-Karnataka border were on high alert. The Karnataka police were also informed of the same.
Surprisingly, early on Tuesday morning, the Excise Intelligence Team of Wayanad found and seized 34kg gold amounting to Rs 11 crore from six Rajasthani natives at the Tholpetty check post.
Intelligence Inspector A J Shaji said that around 4 AM, the team found the six passengers travelling in a luxury bus with the gold carefully packed in four bags.
â€śIllegal transit of gold and narcotics is mostly done at night. The only bus route that remains open at night on the Kerala-Karnataka border is the Tholpetty route. Therefore, any such illicit transits will have to get past Tholpetty check postâ€ť, he said.
The six accused are Shankesh B Jain, Abhay M Jain, Chambaram Dewasi, Madanlal Dewasi, Vikram C and Kamlesh Jain.
â€śThey had carefully packed the gold in 4 bags â€” 2 college bags and 2 travel bags. They are highly educated. In fact, one of them was found to be the son of a well-known jeweller in Bangalore,â€ť Inspector Shaji added.
According to the Excise Intelligence Team, the accused were also found carrying narcotic drugs. â€śThey had also carried narcotic drugs with them. All the accused are handed over to the Income Tax Authorities. Bangalore Income Tax Departments is also informed of the incident,â€ť Inspector Shaji further added.
This is reportedly the biggest illegal transit of gold that Kerala has caught so far.
â€śKerala has never reported an illegal transit of this amount before. Gold traders take to such illegal activities to evade tax. The accused will have to pay a tax amount of Rs 65 lakhs for gold that is worth Rs 11 cr. Income tax authorities are likely to charge all the accused with a higher penalty now. An arrest can also be expected soonâ€ť, said Inspector Shaji said.
The seven-member team of Wayanadâ€™s Excise Intelligence Department included A J Shaji, C B Vijayan, K J Santhosh, K Ramesh, M K Gopi, K M Simon and V Balakrishnan.