What is Operation Molten Metal?
Operation Molten Metal: It is an intelligence operation carried out by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) under the code-name 'Molten Metal' to bust a racket of gold smugglers. Several Indian and foreign nationals suspected to be indulging in smuggling gold into India from Hong Kong using the air cargo route have been identified.
The intelligence agency has underscored that the gold was first smuggled in the form of machinery parts and was later moulded into bars or cylindrical forms before being disposed of in the local market.
Operation Molten Metal: What has been seized by the DRI officials?
During a search operation carried out across several rented properties in Chattarpur and Gurgaon, four foreign nationals (two from South Korea and one each from China and Taiwan) were arrested.
They were found to be using sophisticated metallurgical techniques to convert the smuggled gold in the form of ‘EI’ laminates into bar or cylindrical form for further distribution. DRI has seized 85.535 kg gold, valued at approximately Rs. 42 crore, from their possession.
Operation Molten Metal: How the gold smuggling racket was busted?
DRI officials acted upon the intelligence received and examined the import consignment at Air Cargo Complex, Indira Gandhi International Airport.
During the checking, the officials found that the consignment contains electroplating machines fitted with transformers. The ‘EI’ laminates of the transformers were found to have been made of gold-coated with nickel, essentially to hide the identity of the gold. Approximately 1 kg of gold was recovered from each of the 80 imported electroplating machines.
During questioning, it has been revealed that the aforementioned illegal activities were being carried out by the foreign nationals in rented apartments in plush localities in South Delhi and Gurgaon under extreme precautions to keep them hidden even from their immediate neighbours. Two of the foreign nationals had stuck up a close relationship while being behind bars for their previous offences of gold smuggling. Further investigation into the case is underway.
Molten Metal Meaning
It is the liquid state of metal or metal alloy where a cohesive mass of metal will flow under atmospheric pressure and take the shape of the container in which it is placed.
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