Kohima: In one of the biggest hauls in Nagaland, the police have seized smuggled gold and narcotic substances, worth around Rs 25 crore, from various parts of Kohima, and arrested nine people in this connection, a senior police officer said on Monday.

Addressing a press conference here along with officials of the state CID and the narcotics cell, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Sandeep Tamgadge said that the seizures and arrests were made from different locations of Kohima district in the last 48 hours.

Sleuths of the Nagaland Police‘s narcotic cell intercepted a vehicle on the Kohima-Imphal National Highway on Sunday, which resulted in the recovery of over 48 kg smuggled gold, estimated to be valued at Rs 22.78 crore.

The gold bars, reportedly hidden inside the cover of the gear lever of the vehicle, were packed neatly in 29 packets, he said.

The smuggled gold and the SUV carrying the yellow metal have been seized while two persons, identified as Saurabh Singh and Pawan Kumar, both residents of Uttar Pradesh, have been detained for further questioning.

A case has been registered and an investigation is in progress, the ADGP stated.

Prima facie evidence shows that the gold was smuggled from Manipur and was in transit so the investigation process may involve multiple states, he said.

Asked about the destination of the smuggled bars, Tamgadge said that initial investigation suggests that the packets were bound for Agra.

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The police officer also stated that the seized gold would be deposited at the police ‘malkhana’ (godown) for now, and on completion of the investigation, it would be handed over to the court of law.

In another drug haul, Tamgadge said police personnel at a narcotic checkpoint at Khuzama seized 12 kg of illegal contraband, suspected to be opium, wrapped in 12 packets, weighing approximately one kilogram each.

Two persons, identified as Tularam Sarki and Sagar Ghali, both residents of Manipur, have been arrested for possessing the contraband.

Further, the ADGP said, the highway patrol unit of the Kohima Police intercepted an Assam-registered vehicle on NH-29 on Monday morning and recovered 532 gm of contraband, suspected to be heroin, packed in 42 soap cases. Four persons were apprehended from the vehicle.

Earlier, on October 2, the ADGP said that the narcotic cell seized illegal contraband, also suspected to be heroin, packed in 46 soap cases.

A Manipur resident, Md. Riyajuddin, who was travelling in a vehicle bearing West Bengal’s registration number, has been taken into custody.

The value of the seized opium and heroin is estimated to be approximately Rs 3 crore in the international market.

Asked if specific inputs led to the seizure of gold and drugs, Tamgadge said that it was the “alert” narcotics cell personnel who managed to detect the illegal substances during normal frisking operations.

The ADGP asserted that the state police is committed to controlling the drug menace.

Maintaining that law enforcers have heightened efforts to curb all nuisance, he said, “It would be our endeavour to make the highway connecting Manipur with Nagaland and other parts of the country free of any illegal activity.”

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