In a late-night operation, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) recovered smuggled gold worth Rs 1.5 crore from Siliguri, the prime township in West Bengal's Darjeeling district.
Three persons have been arrested. They were identified as Shree Baiju, Murarilal Soni and Sonpal Saini. While Soni is a resident of Rajasthan, Saini and Baiju hail from Mathura. The estimated market value of the seized gold biscuits is to the tune of Rs 1.5 crore, a DRI source claimed.
It is learnt that the DRI sleuths were tipped off by their sources that a huge consignment of smuggled gold biscuits had been brought to Siliguri from Dubai and was supposed to be taken to different destinations in Uttar Pradesh.
Based on the information received from their sources, a team of team DRI sleuths on Sunday night intercepted a four-wheeler from an important crossing leading to the Bagdogra Airport in the outskirts of Siliguri.
Sources said that from a special and hidden chamber within the vehicle, the DRI sleuths recovered 23 gold biscuits each weighing 166 grams. The three persons travelling by the four-wheeler were detained and interrogated and in face of integration neither they could furnish any valid document for possessing that huge gold nor initially they could say anything definite about their source.
Finally in face of interrogation the three confessed that they procured gold smuggled from Dubai from one Rajkumar Agarwal, a resident of Siliguri and was supposed to take them to Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh.
The police on Monday morning raided the residence of Agarwal, though he was absconding by then. Unaccounted cash worth Rs 24.50 lakhs were also recovered from his residence.
On Monday, the three persons arrested by DRI were presented at a district court in Siliguri where they were remanded to police custody for a period of 14 days.