Indian Officials Confiscate 9.3kg of Gold From Smugglers

JP Buntinx
March 19, 2020

Gold is often considered to be a store of value. Transporting that store of value in its physical form is challenging, both in terms of legitimate purposes and smuggling alike.

Seven Smugglers Lose Over 9kg of Gold

A very interesting piece of news is making the rounds. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officers have arrested 7 people in India. All seven individuals are suspected of smuggling gold. During the arrest, the officers seized 9.3kg in physical gold,  primarily consisting of smaller and larger bars. 

According to the DRI officers, the physical gold has been smuggled from Middle East countries into India. Where the gold originates from in the Middle East exactly, is a different matter altogether. There is no indication that any of it was received through illicit means. More information on that topic may come to light in the coming weeks.

What is rather interesting is how all of these bars have forged foreign markings. The objective of the individuals was to sell it in Mangaluru and districts of North Karnataka. It is possible that they wanted to pass off the bars as legitimate physical gold in an effort to fetch a higher price.

By bringing crude bars to India and remelting the gold into bars with forged markings, a lot of money can be made. Selling contraband is a criminal offense in most countries and can lead to severe jail sentences. 

A Sophisticated Operation

An investigation by the DRI has unveiled the sophisticated approach by the culprits. At first, two individuals were arrested at the Mangaluru Central Railway Station. At that time, a total of 5.6kg in crude form gold was obtained. 

Due to these arrests, the officials were able to obtain information on a third person in this crime ring. That third individual was arrested at the parking lot of the railway station. So far, it is believed that this third individual is responsible for receiving the smuggled gold and moving it to different locations.

The melters turning the crude gold into “new bars” were arrested a few days later in Kozhikode. More gold and sums of cash were seized at that time. Two SUVs were confiscated as well, as both vehicles were used to transport the precious metal. 

Digital Gold is the Future

All of these developments confirm how digital gold is a more than viable alternative. More specifically, it is not something one should explore for illicit purposes. Everyone with honest intentions may want to look at managing their gold and silver portfolios in digital format in the 21st century.

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