" --IANS"
Kolkata, Nov 14 - Four persons hailing from Manipur were arrested and 14 kg of contraband gold biscuits valued at Rs 4.24 crore seized from them on Tuesday by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officials in West Bengal.

A DRI release said DRI officials maintained strict surveillance at the Bandel Railway station and caught the four accused hailing from Manipur as they alighted from the Howrah-bound Kamrup Express.

These persons are carriers of gold smuggled in from Myanmar through bordering areas of north-eastern states.

The contraband gold biscuits - 84 pieces totalling 14 kg -- were concealed in specially stitched cavities in their trousers.

The four were produced before a court on Tuesday, the release said.

Accused Mohammad Sikandar, 28, Mohammad Tapsir, 24, and Mohammad Mustaq Ali, 33, - are inhabitants of Bishnupur district of Manipur while Mohammad Belan alias Mohammad Belal, 32, hails from Chandel district.

Investigation revealed that the four began their journey from Imphal by car and reached Guwahati, where they boarded the train.

It is one of the biggest seizures of foreign-origin gold smuggled by the DRI in Kolkata in recent past, the release said.

During the current financial year, the DRI has seized over 166 kg gold valued at nearly Rs 49 crore from West Bengal and north-eastern states. The gold has been smuggled from Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Bhutan.

--IANS

ssp/tsb/dg


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