Smuggling gold and other precious metals is always a risky endeavor. Over 500 gold bars have been confiscated by India’s Directorate of Revenue and Intelligence this week. Eight people have been arrested, albeit no official charges have been pressed yet.
Hundreds of Gold Bars Seized
It is not uncommon for government agencies to catch people smuggling money, precious metals, or other forms of value. Doing so is illegal, so if one gets caught, charges will be pressed eventually. For the eight individuals arrested in New Delhi this week, it remains to be seen what those charges will be exactly.
All eight were arrested at a railway station. As it turns out, they attempted to smuggle 504 bars of gold of foreign origin. The bars were concealed in custom-made cloth vests. Moreover, the individuals all used fake IDs to mask their true identity. It is possible that the gold bars were smuggled into India via Myanmar.
Disposing of these gold bars would be quite challenging. The eight are allegedly connected to a crime ring in Guwahati. Their approach is to sell the smuggled gold in various cities to not arouse suspicion. All of India’s main cities have a liquid gold market, thus disposing of the bars should not pose any problems.
According to local sources, the gold bars add up to a weight of over 83kg. Every bar is 99.9% pure and has a market value of over $10,000. Smuggling the bars was a challenge, as the criminals used a combination of land, air, and water travel. Eventually, they were apprehended by the Directorate of Revenue and Intelligence.
An odd Myanmar Angle
It is evident that Myanmar only served as a transportation location. The markings on the bars have not been identified as of yet. Myanmar is a country where gold is produced, but not in sufficient quantities to create over 83 kg in bars quickly. As such, it remains to be seen where the bullion comes from exactly.
Another possibility is how the markings on the bars are fake. Criminals will often steal gold, melt it to remove any logos, and then stamp the bars again. Given the current lack of information, it remains to be seen if that angle is plausible. Either way, the eight people who have been arrested remain in judicial custody until further notice.