Officials with the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Wednesday seized gold weighing 25 kg, estimated to be worth Rs 11.63 crore from an SUV on the Vijayawada-Hyderabad highway. Three people in the vehicle were arrested and sent to judicial remand. DRI officials, acting on a tip-off, made the seizure of gold in Telangana's Yadadri-Bhongir district, an official statement said on Wednesday.
According to a DRI statement, the gold, weighing 25 kg and valued at Rs 11.63 crore was seized at the Pantangi toll plaza on the Vijayawada-Hyderabad highway from an SUV bearing Assam registration number plates. Based on specific intelligence inputs, the DRI officials were on the lookout for a consignment of smuggled gold being transported from Guwahati to Hyderabad.
The authorities intercepted the vehicle at the toll plaza on Tuesday and recovered the gold-bearing foreign markings, hidden in the dashboard in a space that was created by removing the safety airbags. The gold, allegedly handed over in Guwahati, had traversed the poll-bound states of Assam and West Bengal, but was intercepted before it could reach its destination of Hyderabad.
Earlier in February, DRI officials had seized 2.5 kg of gold from a passenger travelling from Dubai to Hyderabad. The gold was being carried in a suitcase and was to be handed over to two other passengers at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) who were also smuggling gold. The three men were intercepted at the exit gate of the airport. While the passenger from Dubai hid the gold in a suitcase, the two other domestic passengers who had arrived from Jaipur were found carrying gold hidden inside the metal head of a hammer. The two men were found smuggling 931 grams of 24 karat gold, authorities said at the time.