Customs Imphal Division has seized 50 gold biscuits weighing 8.3 kilogram worth Rs 4,43,95,200, allegedly smuggled by two youths in a moped at Thamnapokpi in Chandel district of Manipur.
The two alleged smugglers are identified as S Hemchandra, 26, son of late S Tompok of Khomjong, Thoubal and Charanga Phumtil Maring, 28, son of C Mothil Maring of Khunbi Tuinem, Chandel. Both have been arrested under the Customs Act, 1965.
The confiscated gold biscuits along with the arrested persons were displayed before the media at the Customs Imphal Division office in Sangakpham, Imphal East.
The two arrested along with their vehicles were intercepted by sleuths of the Customs division after receiving specific information on their movement towards Imphal with smuggled gold from the border town of Moreh, said assistant commissioner of Customs Imphal Division HL Songate.
After being intercepted, they were bought at Customs Sangakpham office due to the remoteness of the place and security, and on checking the air filter compartment of the vehicle the gold biscuits were found wrapped in adhesive tape, he informed.
The confiscated gold bars are suspected to be imported from Myanmar though there were no tags on the bars, added the assistant commissioner.
When asked about his view on the frequent cases of smuggling gold from Myanmar, he replied, “Economic crisis in Myanmar due to the ongoing civil war might be one of the main reasons for the illegal exporting of gold from Myanmar to Manipur.”
On the other hand, the porous Indo-Myanmar border and lack of manpower in the Customs are a big advantage for the smugglers in the attempt to smuggle gold from Myanmar, he added.
Further investigation is in progress to nab the other offender(s) involved in the case. Meanwhile, the two arrested individuals were remanded to judicial custody by the chief judicial magistrate, Chandel.
Earlier on Sunday, the Customs Imphal Division had seized 10.79 kilograms of gold worth above Rs 5.7 crore from Imphal Airport.