New Delhi: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Wednesday intercepted and arrested a Delhi-based hawala and a gold smuggler for smuggling foreign currencies to Dubai from Kathmandu airport, taking advantage of the porous India-Nepal border.

The DRI officials also seized foreign currency to the tune of Rs 3.22 crore, foreign marked gold worth Rs 2.1 crore and jewellery worth Rs 1.75 crore.

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According to the senior DRI officials, the smugglers have changed their modus-operandi and their route after the recent crackdown by government officials at Delhi airport. The syndicate now started sending their carriers to Nepal through land route, which would then fly from Kathmandu to Dubai and other foreign countries.

“Separate set of carriers were being used by the syndicate to smuggle gold and foreign currencies between Delhi to Dubai. Instead of taking the flights from Delhi the gang members took the flight to Kathmandu from Dubai and smuggled gold and valuables from Kathmandu to Delhi using the land route. The purpose of choosing the said route, through the porous land border with Nepal, was to evade detection.”

The DRI officials intercepted the accused trying to cross over to Nepal via Rupaidiha on March 13 and recovered foreign currency equivalent to Rs 1.04 crore.

Following the interception, the DRI shared their specific intelligence and leads with Delhi police, which conducted searches at Chandni Chowk area.

The search at Chandni Chowk led to further recovery of foreign currency equivalent to Rs 2.18 crore, 6.82 kg of foreign marked gold bars, 5.59 kg of jewellery suspected to be made of smuggled gold and Rs 42.50 lakhs, suspected to be sale proceeds of smuggled gold.

At both the places, the foreign currency was found concealed between the layers of corrugated sheets.

So far two people have been arrested and officials are trying to find the mastermind behind the gang.

In February, a father and son were arrested by customs officials for allegedly trying to smuggle out foreign currency worth Rs 68 lakh at Delhi airport.