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DRI busts China-based syndicate involved in smuggling gold to India


New Delhi: The DRI has arrested three people including a Chinese national believed to be one of the masterminds of a notorious syndicate involved in smuggling gold from Taiwan and Hong Kong into India and seized over 21 kilograms of the yellow metal, an official statement said on Thursday.

Three people, including a Chinese and a Taiwanese national, have been arrested in connection with the case, a statement issued by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) said.

Initial investigations point to the involvement of two separate China-based and Taiwan-based smuggling syndicates involved in smuggling gold into India by concealing it in utensils and other household goods, the probe agency said.

The Taiwan- based syndicate concealed the gold in the sediment filters of RO water purifiers which were then couriered from Taiwan to New Delhi and collected by members of the syndicate. The gold was then extracted from the sediment filter using the re-melting process, they said.

The gold extracted was sold to Karol Bagh based jewellers, who are also being investigated, the DRI said.

In this case, the DRI officials had seized more than 21 kgs of smuggled gold valued at Rs 7.62 crore on October 21 from a flat in an upscale housing society in Delhi.

Two individuals including a Taiwanese national and an Indian who had come to take the delivery of the smuggled gold were arrested in the operation. A Chinese national was also arrested on Monday from Indira Gandhi International airport here, the statement said.

The Chinese national is one of the key members of the syndicate that supplied the gold seized last month. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests in the case are likely, it said.

In a similar modus operandi detected in November 2018, the DRI officials had detected a case of gold smuggling into India from China by concealing them in bag zippers and ash-trays.

A total of 21 kgs of gold was seized and seven persons including four Chinese nationals were arrested by the DRI in that case.

"There has been a spurt in the smuggling of gold into India from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Information available with DRI suggests that the smuggling syndicates are using the e-commerce platforms and the courier mode to smuggle gold into India by way of concealment in household and white goods," the DRI said.

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