North 24 Parganas, West Bengal:
The Border Security Force (BSF) achieved a major success on Monday after it thwarted a big attempt at smuggling gold along the India-Bangladesh border areas in West Bengal.
The 68 Battalion of South Bengal Frontier at the border post at Ranghat apprehended a smuggler with a substantial cache of gold.
“Based on concrete information, the troops caught a smuggler with 50 gold biscuits and 16 gold bars. The weight of the seized gold is 23 kg and its estimated value is Rs 14 crore. The smuggler was trying to bring this gold from Bangladesh to India,” read an official press release.
AK Arya, DIG, Public Relations Officer of BSF, South Bengal Frontier stated that notorious smugglers trap poor and innocent people by luring them with small amounts of money. The gang of notorious smugglers are not directly involved in crimes like smuggling, hence they target poor people.
He appealed to people living on the border to report any information related to gold smuggling through their Seema Saathi helpline no. 14419 or through WhatsApp messages or voice messages on 9903472227 and said that a suitable reward will be given to the person providing concrete information, and their identity will be kept confidential.
The operation unfolded at 6:50 pm on September 18 when Border Outpost Ranghat received intelligence about a significant gold smuggling attempt near the Van Turn in their area.
Responding swiftly, a squad of troops led by their commander reached the location and set up an ambush along the roadside.
Shortly thereafter, they noticed a suspicious motorcycle rider approaching the Van Turn.
The troops halted and interrogated the individual, who appeared nervous and attempted to flee, leaving the motorcycle behind.
The vigilant jawans arrested him and brought both the suspect and the motorcycle to Border Post Ranghat.
A thorough search of the motorcycle revealed the concealed gold hidden in the air filter. The arrested smuggler was identified as Indrajit Patra, 23 years old, son of Pradeep Patra, from Kulia village, District North 24 Parganas.
During questioning, the smuggler disclosed that his brother operates a jewellery shop in Oldanga village, where they both engage in jewellery work.
He revealed that he had been approached by a man named Sameer, aged 50 and a resident of Ranghat village, who offered him Rs 15,000 per month to transport gold from Ranghat to Bangaon.
The arrested smuggler, along with the confiscated gold, will be handed over to the Customs Office in Bagdah for further legal proceedings.
Last year, South Bengal Frontier, BSF, seized 114 kg of gold along the India-Bangladesh border. This year, they have already seized 120 kg of gold, indicating the ongoing vigilance and efforts to curb smuggling activities in the region, added the release.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)