The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence busted a gold smuggling syndicate of Sudanese nationals operating through the Nepal border in a pan-India operation on February 23rd, 2023.
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The Sequence of events
On February 21, 2023, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized 101.7 kg of gold, valued at Rs 51 crore, along with 74 lakhs of foreign currency and Rs 63 lakhs worth of Indian currency, busting the most notorious gold smuggling syndicate of Sudanese nationals who were operating through the Nepal border.
On February 19, 2023, the DRI officials received a tip that the Sudanese nationals were boarding a late-night train from Patna. The officials then arrested them, and they were to be carrying 37.126 kg of paste in about 40 packets. They had aptly concealed it in the specially made cavities made in the sleeves of the jackets worn by the two of them. The third man was the person who was the handler of the smuggling activity and also arranged the transportation for carrying out the smuggling.
Following this, on February 20, 2023, two Sudanese ladies were arrested in Pune. They were traveling from Hyderabad to Mumbai via bus and were carrying 5.165 kg of smuggled metal in various forms, which they were carrying in their handbags.
Similarly, on the same day, the DRI officials arrested two more Sudanese men, Mahmoud and Hassan, who were traveling to Mumbai from Patna at the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Railway Station. They were found to be carrying around 38.76 kg of metal in the form of paste, concealing it in the sleeves of their jackets.
Novel Modus Operandi
The DRI, after exhuming the novel modus operandi and following the leads provided by the smugglers themselves, carried out the pan-India operation very swiftly. They found out that the smugglers were bringing foreign-origin gold into India through the northeastern part of the country, either through courier services or by concealment methods in person, by bus, train, flight, etc. The smugglers also used to unearth smuggled gold from the sea bed in Tamil Nadu after the smugglers used to throw away gold along the sea coast of Tamil Nadu.
As the DRI officials busted the international racket, they arrested 10 members of the gang, of whom they have identified five accused, three of whom are Indian—Saif Sayyed Khan, Shamsher Khan, and Manish Prakash Jain—and the other two from Sudan—Musab Mahmoud Nory and Musab Hassan Elhasaan.
Operation Golden Dawn took place over three days, with DRI officials raiding multiple locations, which included four locations in Colaba and Zaveri Bazaar. The main route used by the smugglers for bringing gold into India was smuggling it into Bhar from Nepal.
After a thorough investigation, it was found that two merchants, who were Colaba-based brothers, Saif and Shamsher, were allegedly buying the smuggled gold and selling it to other gold merchants in Zaveri Bazaar. Further investigation is under way to reveal the whereabouts of the huge amount of smuggled gold in past as well.