Maha-Gujarat silver ‘smuggling’ racket through Duronto Express busted

Mumbai, Dec 29: The Western Railway (WR) has bust an alleged racket involving illegal transportation of silver jewellery by falsely declaring them as ‘imitation ornaments’ to evade the due levies, through the Mumbai-Hapa Duronto Express (12268), an official said here on Thursday.

WR Chief Spokesperson Sumit Thakur said that the scam came to light through the Vigilance Department along with the Railway Protection Force, and led to seizure of 6 large parcels containing silver jewellery worth around Rs 1.34-crore.

He said that the consignment was unloaded at Mumbai Central on Tuesday (December 26) and was in the process of being taken out of the railway territory unattended, though the teams monitoring the unloading operations from the leased parcel compartment had detected nothing amiss.

Later, enquiries with the Rear Parcel Compartment staffers revealed that some of the packages had gone for transfer to the inward godown for delivery, and the Vigilance sleuths rushed there, but again encountered a blank.

Finding it suspicious, the Vigilance team rushed to the truck-tempo loading section and apprehended the loader along with the consignment and brought it to the inward parcel godown.

Investigations revealed that the six packets were booked as ‘Imitation Jewelery’ for which they had paid only Rs 1,347, said Thakur.

However, during a detailed check, all the bundles were found to be full of silver ornaments, weighing around 240 kg and valued at Rs 1.34 crore by an expert.

The official said that the entire consignment has been confiscated, a case has been registered at Mumbai Central and further investigations are underway in Hapa and Mumbai, both around 815 km apart.