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Siliguri: Three youths hailing from Maharashtra have been arrested in Siliguri after they were found wearing belts with as much as 30 kg gold hidden in them. This apart, Rs 20-lakh in cash has also been found on them.

Officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), acting on a tip-off, nabbed the three youths from near a cinema hall at Sevoke Road in Siliguri. The youths were about to alight from a taxi that had ferried them from Sikkim to Siliguri when the DRI team surrounded them.

On frisking the youths, DRI officials found 32 gold bars hidden in secret pockets attached to the bells that they had put on. Two youths were carrying 10 gold bars each in their belts; the third one had 12 gold bars. DRI officials said that each of the gold bars weighs 1 kg.

The three arrested youths have been identified as Praveen Samrao alias Kadam, Dhanaji Sahebrao alias Babar, and Akshay Haridas alias Magar.

According to DRI’s counsel Tridib Saha, the trio entered India from China through Nathu-la carrying the smuggled gold bars. They then hired a taxi from Sikkim reaching Siliguri. Their plan was to deliver the gold bars to their agents spread in different parts of India.

The huge amount of cash recovered from the trio is worrying the investigators as they suspect that the trio might have had other motives.