108 kg smuggled gold seized by ITBP near China border in Ladakh

ITBP jawans with seized gold and other items in Leh on Wednesday.
ITBP jawans with seized gold and other items in Leh on Wednesday.

Two smugglers of Nyama arrested

Tsewang Rigzin

LEH, July 10: The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has seized 108 gold bars, each weighing one kilogram, near Indo-China border and arrested three people.

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Besides the huge quantity of smuggled gold, the seizure also included two mobile phones, a binocular, two knives and several Chinese food items like cakes and milk, the official said.
“This is the biggest haul of gold recovered by ITBP in its history. The seized material will be handed over to the customs department,” he said.

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The official said the troops of 21st battalion ITBP launched a long range patrolling on Tuesday afternoon in the Changthang sub-sector in eastern Ladakh, including Chizbule, Narbula, Zangle and Zakla to check infiltration of smugglers as the smuggling activities are heightened around the summer season.
The ITBP has also got inputs of smuggling in Sriraple, one kilometre from the Line of Actual Control, he said, adding that the patrolling party headed by Deputy Commandant Deepak Bhat noticed two people on mules and asked them to stop.
However, they tried to escape but were arrested after a chase, the official said, adding initially they claimed that they were working as medicinal plant dealers but the search of their belongings led to the recovery of the huge quantity of gold and other items.
The smugglers have been identified as Tsering Chamba (40) and Stanzin Dorgyal, both residents of Ladakh’s Nyoma area.
One more person was arrested in connection with the recovery and all the three arrested persons are being interrogated jointly by ITBP and Police, the official said.
According to ITBP, the patrol party took custody of both the suspects and seized items and left for Tactical Headquarters Koyul and reported matter to Ajay Nirmalkar, Commandant 21 Battalion. Matter was reported to higher headquarters and further investigation and action is in progress in coordination with sister organizations.
ITBP is authorised to carry out search and seizures by MHA and also incorporated in ITBP Act to exercise the powers of Customs on the border to have a check on smuggling activities. Joint interrogation of the suspects will be carried out by Civil Police, IB, SB, Customs and ITBP. The seizure along with the suspects has been handed over to Custom Department officers for further questioning and needful action as enshrined in the law.