NEW DELHI - Indian Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has busted an international racket involving agents from Pakistan, China, Myanmar and India to smuggle high-end Drones (remotely piloted aircraft).
The kingpin was arrested from Paldi in Ahmedabad on Thursday, and 85 drones were seized.
The nature of goods, the involvement of Pakistani and Chinese firms, the specialised nature of the operations has given rise concerns about national security.
The racket has been going on since 2017, and thousands of drones worth over Rs 10 crore have evaded customs duty amounting to nearly Rs 3 crore so far.
Modus operandi: Pakistan-based firms place order the drones from China. These are supplied to a warehouse in Dehong in China's Yunnan province, located close to Myanmar. "Smugglers from Myanmar are tasked with getting them into the country across the international border," said a DRI officer. "They are then taken to Tamu, which is close to the India border, and from there to Imphal in Manipur."
The prohibited goods are declared as innocuous items such as household goods, camera stands and electronic goods on domestic flights to Ahmedabad. Once in the city, the drones are supplied to various locations via private couriers. The Chinese maker is paid through hawala channels operating out of Mumbai.
The racket between Pak, China, Myanmar and India has been going on since 2017; thousands of drones worth over Rs 10 crore have evaded customs duty amounting to nearly Rs 3 crore.