The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday said it carried out search operations on August 5, 6 and 9 at 21 premises in Chhattisgarh and one place in Jharkhand, in connection with the smuggling of foreign origin gold and other precious metals from Bangladesh to Raipur via Kolkata.
The ED initiated a money laundering investigation on the basis of a prosecution complaint (chargesheet) filed by the DRI under Section 135 of the Customs Act. A carrier was caught by the DRI while smuggling gold and precious stones through off routes and illicit channels.
The DRI recovered gold from his possession which was of foreign origin and was smuggled into India from Bangladesh and was transported from Kolkata to Raipur for its consumption at Raipur by Vijay Kumar Baid alias Vicky and others.
A number of such cases were booked by the law enforcement agencies against the offenders.
During enquiries it emerged that a smuggling syndicate is operating in Chhattisgarh and nearby states.
"The modus operandi of this syndicate is that foreign origin gold is being smuggled into the country and the route is that the smuggled gold is received in Myanmar from where it comes to Bangladesh and further enters the state of West Bengal; from West Bengal the smuggled gold reaches other states like Chhattisgarh through road transport and train transport," the ED said.
During the search operation, unaccounted gold bullion weighing around 3845 gram, gold ornaments weighing around 12810.63 gram, silver weighing around 671.77 kg, cash around Rs 1.41 crore, documents related to sale/purchase of gold, silver and some digital devices were recovered.
Further investigation in the matter is on.
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