Gold weighing 31.5 kg has been seized in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and 12 people have been arrested, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) said on Sunday.
Based on specific intelligence, the accused were nabbed during searches in buses and trains on four different occasions.
The DRI Hyderabad on Sunday held three passengers travelling from Chennai to Hyderabad and seized gold worth Rs 4.53 crore.
On January 31, the DRI Nellore unit intercepted three men travelling on a train from Chennai to Warangal in Telangana. They were stopped at the Vijayawada railway station in Andhra Pradesh and found carrying gold bars in packets concealed in bags, the DRI said in a statement.
On enquiry, they told police that they carried cash to Chennai, purchased the smuggled foreign-origin gold in the city and were travelling back to Warangal to hand the metal over to the smuggling kingpin at Warangal, the statement said.
The seized gold weighed 7,228 gm and was valued at Rs 3.05 crore.
A day later, the DRI Vijayawada unit intercepted three passengers, travelling on a train from Chennai to Warangal, carrying gold bars in packets concealed in their clothing, the statement said.
The passengers admitted to a similar modus operandi.
The DRI seized 7,077 gm gold valued at Rs 2.99 crore, the statement said.
In another instance, the DRI Hyderabad and Vijayawada seized gold worth Rs 2.73 crore from three passengers travelling to Warangal via Vijayawada by a state-run bus.
According to The Hindu, the arrested passengers told DRI officials that they had travelled from Chennai to Kavali in SPS Nellore district by train, and had then taken a bus to Guntur. They were reportedly travelling from Guntur to Warangal by bus through Vijayawada when they were apprehended.
In all four cases, the gold was seized under the Customs Act and further investigation was on, the statement added.