The Border Security Force (BSF) has foiled an attempt to smuggle a truck seizing 2 kg gold worth Rs 1.27 crore at West Bengal's Petrapole Integrated Check Post (ICP), police said on Tuesday. The BSF troops belonging to its 145 Battalion on November 26, based on specific information regarding possible smuggling of gold, seized 2054.110 grams of gold of various sizes during truck checking at ICP Petrapole.
A smuggler was also apprehended with the 17 gold pieces when he was trying to bring them from Bangladesh to India by hiding them in the cabin of the truck, said the BSF, which is mandated to guard the 4096.70 km India-Bangladesh border."The estimated value of the seized gold pieces is Rs 1,27,56,023," said the BSF, a Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
According to the information received, the BSF said, ICP Petrapole troops received special intelligence regarding an attempt to smuggle gold by an empty truck coming from Bangladesh."Upon pursuing the input, the troops intercepted an empty suspicious truck with registration number WB-23C-5085. After the initial investigation, the suspect truck was brought inside the parking area of ICP Petrapole for a thorough search.
"During the thorough search, 17 gold pieces, which included 08 gold biscuits, 4 pieces of distorted-shaped gold cubes, and 5 small gold bars of different sizes, were recovered from the upper cabin behind the driver's seat," said the BSF. It was hidden by wrapping it in transparent tape in the upper cabin, it said, adding "The driver of the truck was apprehended subsequently and the gold along with the truck was seized on the spot.
"The smuggler has been identified as Abdul Johab Malik, 29, a resident of Khalitpur village in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district.During interrogation, the BSF said, the smuggler revealed that he is an Indian citizen works as a truck driver by profession, and has been involved in gold smuggling for the last few days. The smuggler further revealed that on the night of November 25-26 night, Bangladeshi national Ashik Mandal came to him and gave him 17 gold pieces which were wrapped in transparent tape.
"After receiving the consignment, the arrested smuggler hid the gold consignment inside the upper cabin behind the driver's seat. On further questioning, he also revealed that the consignment was to be handed over to an unknown man in Bangaon, India. He will get Rs 10,000 for this work. But during checking, BSF jawans caught him with gold. "The arrested person and the seized gold have been handed over to the Customs Department, Petrapole, said the border guarding force.
AK Arya, Deputy Inspector General, South Bengal Frontier, said that notorious smugglers trap poor and innocent people by luring them with small amounts of money."The notorious smuggling gangs are not directly involved in crimes like smuggling, so they target poor people," said Arya. He also appealed to the people living on the border that if they come across any information related to gold smuggling, then they can give this information on BSF's Seema Sathi helpline number 14419.
"Apart from this, South Bengal Frontier has also issued another number 9903472227 on which WhatsApp messages or voice messages related to gold smuggling can also be sent. An appropriate reward amount will be given to the person giving concrete information and his identity will be kept confidential," the force added.
(With ANI inputs)