Aizawl: In a major haul ever reported in Mizoram this year, the Anti-Smuggling Unit of the Aizawl Customs Division has seized 29 kgs of illegal gold bars at Muallungthu, on the outskirt of Aizawl and arrested one person in connection with the seizure on Saturday evening.
Deputy Commissioner of Aizawl Customs Division James Guite said the anti-smuggling unit, acting on specific information intercepted a bolero at Muallungthu village and recovered 29 pieces of gold bars (each gold bar weight 1 kg).
The contraband worth Rs 9.16 crore based on the prevailing rate of gold bullion was smuggled from Myanmar, he said.
He said that one person identified as Hualzidinga, 55, S/o Late Phunzika of Champhai Venglai in Champhai district has been arrested in this connection and a bolero bearing registration No MZ-01K-8203 on which the alleged accused was transporting the gold bars has also been seized by customs officials.
A case has been booked vide Customs Seizure Case No. 01/CL/IMP/CUS/As-AIZ/2018-19 dated 21.04.2018.
The accused was produced before the Magistrate on Sunday, Guite said.
Further investigation to unearth the modus-operandi of the case is still in progress, he added.
With an enhanced watch on the Bengal border, smugglers have found an alternative route through Myanmar and Mizoram to get gold into different parts of the country.
In 2016, gold bars worth over Rs 18.79 crore have been seized in Mizoram.
Guite said that a total of 8.3 kgs of illegal gold bars worth Rs. 2.5 crore had been seized by the Customs Division last year.
A customs department official said that Myanmar has replaced the traditional smuggling routes like Dubai, Bangkok and Bangladesh. While the smuggled metal is sent all across the country, a portion of it remains in the Kolkata market as well.
“It seems members of an organized racket are involved in smuggling the metal into India. All the carries have stopped at intermediate points like Guwahati and Siliguri before moving to Kolkata and other parts of the country,” said the official.