Mumbai Crime: Mastermind of gold smuggling racket held

Over two months after Customs officials caught a flier sneaking in 7 kg of gold hidden in his underwear and shoes, the authorities finally have the kingpin of the smuggling racket in their grasp. This takes the number of accused in the case to six, including the mastermind who supplied the yellow metal, the man smuggling the consignment and a father-son duo who run a jewellery store in south Mumbai and were allegedly supposed to receive the gold.

Also read: Gold smuggler points Customs officials to jewellery store owner

On December 7, the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai Customs had arrested Raj Vasant Jadhav who was smuggling 7 kg of gold worth over Rs 1.6 crore. He pointed the investigators in the direction of Gaurav Jain, who runs Arihant Jewellers at Zaveri Bazaar along with his father, Kanak. The smuggler said Gaurav was supposed to receive the gold once he had cleared it out of the airport. The case got more complicated after the officials realised that Gaurav's sister is an advocate working with the customs department itself.

Jadhav also pointed the cops to the alleged mastermind of the racket — London-based Atonu Kumar Ghoshal. Jadhav said Atonu would pay him 300 sterling pounds per kg of gold he smuggled into India.

Atonu was summoned for questioning three times but failed to appear. The authorities decided to initiate aaction under Section 174 (non-attendance in obedience to an order from public servant) of the IPC, and Atonu was forced to present himself in court on February 12, when he was taken into judicial custody.

Of the other five accused in the case, Jadhav and Kanak Jain are currently out on bail, while Gaurav and his servant, Arvind Murudkar are still under arrest. The servant told the cops that Atonu would frequent the Jains’ jewellery store. The sixth accused is Avdhut Kale, Jadhav’s cousin, who was arrested last month.

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