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ITBP apprehends 2 local men for smuggling 108 kg gold near China border in Eastern Ladakh

The arrested men, identified as Norbu Dorjee (69) and Tenzin Targy (40), were apprehended by patrolling team of the 21st battalion of the force guarding international border with China.

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New Delhi: The Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) Tuesday took into custody two Ladakh men for allegedly smuggling more than 100 gold bars weighing 108 kg just a kilometre away from the international border with China in Eastern Ladakh.

The arrested men have been identified as Norbu Dorjee (69) and Tenzin Targy (40). They were apprehended by the patrolling team of the 21st battalion of the force guarding the international border with China.

ITBP officials further said that the duo belongs to Hanle village in Ladakh and that they claimed to be labourers who were collecting medicinal herbal plants.

The Inspector General of the North West Frontier of ITBP Clay Khongsai said that the battalion deployed in the area had launched a long-range patrolling in the border areas based on inputs of smuggling and also because traditionally smuggling increases during this season.

A patrolling party of 20 personnel, led by a deputy commandant Deepak Bhatt, were patrolling the Sirigaple area just a kilometre away from the border, when they spotted Norbu and Tenzin on mules.

The IG further said that on suspicion of smuggling, they were chased down and taken to their base camps where they first claimed to be collecting medicinal herbal plants but detailed questioning revealed their smuggling of gold.

The patrolling party seized four Chinese food items besides 108 gold bars weighing approximately 108 kg in total.

The ITBP officials handed over both the accused and seized gold bars to the Customs department for further investigation and there would be a joint interrogation of the accused persons by agencies such as the Intelligence Bureau, State Intelligence Bureau and Customs, besides the ITBP.

“Patrol party took custody of both the suspects and seized items and left for Tactical HQRS Koyul and reported the matter to Sh. Ajay Nirmalkar, Comdt 21 Battalion, ITBP, on satellite phone who directed them for further pre-wrapped and safe custody of precious metal and suspects. Matter reported to higher headquarters and further investigation and action is in progress in coordination with sister organisations,” the ITBP said in a statement.

(Edited by Zinnia Ray Chaudhari)

Also read: How a sepoy & an Army craftsman ran Rs 1.43 crore ‘recruitment racket’ — here’s what CBI probe found

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