NEW DELHI: It was a case of smuggling planned to military precision, literally. Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Thursday intercepted an 'Army' convoy on Assam-Bengal border and recovered over 9,000 kg of cannabis apart from several guns with "Made in USA" and "Made in Germany" markings including an AK-47.
Only, neither were the men from the armed forces nor did the vehicles belong to the Army. It turned out to be a bunch of nine con artists from UP and Bihar who had dressed up in army fatigues, held guns, and coloured their vehicles olive green to hoodwink police and border authorities.
According to DRI, the agency's Kolkata Zone developed intelligence a few days back that huge quantity of ganja was going to be transported in fake Army convoy consisting of a 6-wheeler carrier truck escorted by a white colour Gypsy, both having fake number plates and camouflaged as Army vehicles.
Intelligence also suggested that all the nine occupants of both the vehicles would be in Army olive green dress and would carry a number of arms and ammunition with them. According to the input, the convoy was to start from Dimapur in Nagaland for West Bengal and cross the Assam- Bengal border on the night of January 29. Based on this, DRI sleuths from its Siliguri unit, with the help of Customs officers of the region and armed personnel of Siliguri police, Fulbari laid a trap at Fulbari toll gate in Jalpaiguri in West Bengal.
As indicated by the input, a convoy closely resembling that of the Army arrived at the toll gate at around 4 am. The convoy was intercepted and nine people dressed in Army fatigues were found to be carrying sophisticated weapons. On examination of the carrier truck and gypsy, 9,310 kg cannabis along with arms and ammunitions were recovered.
Arms recovered include four improvised automatic pistols having mark 'Made in USA', one improvised AK-47, one automatic MP-5 submachine gun having mark 'Made in Germany' and two air guns. Ammunitions recovered include 23 rounds of .65 caliber bullets, 90 rounds of .22 caliber bullets of make KF Germany, 39 rounds of 7.65 caliber bullets. DRI has seized the contraband and arrested the nine smugglers. A senior DRI officer said, "We are examining where they got the weapons from and where the contraband was headed. Further investigation is on."