86,000 kg betel nuts worth Rs 2.6 crore seized in Assam

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KOLKATA, Sept 27 (AGENCIES): The Border Security Force (BSF) and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Tuesday seized over 86,000 kg of betel nuts in 910 bags valued at Rs 2.6 crore, in Cachar district, officials said.

Also, 10,850 kilos of black pepper in 217 bags valued at Rs 65.10 lakh were found in the five trucks, the DRI officials said. The seizure was made near Dhaleswar in Cachar district. Five trucks were intercepted of which four were found to be loaded with betel nuts and black pepper of foreign origin. The fifth truck was found to be loaded with betel nuts of foreign origin.

The Vietnamese origin black pepper was undeclared and found concealed under the bags of betel nuts in these trucks. Initial investigation by DRI revealed that the betel nuts and the black pepper were brought from Myanmar through towns of Champhai, Zokhawthar, located near the India-Myanmar border. This is the third consecutive seizure of betel nuts and black peppers affected by DRI in about a month’s time, an official release said.

On August 23 this year, DRI had seized 37,804 kg of betel nuts and 1,986.75 kg of black pepper, collectively valued at Rs 94,59,010 from Dibrugarh Railway Station.

On August 26, DRI had seized 15,000 kg of black pepper of Vietnam origin along with two trucks, collectively valued at Rs 1.72 crore.

As a part of integrated and enhanced border management plan and for combating cross-border crime more efficiently, especially along the sensitive India-Bangladesh and India- Myanmar borders, DRI and BSF have been working in very close coordination in the border regions of the northeast and West Bengal for combating smuggling of various articles including drugs such as Ganja, cough syrups like Phensydyl, commodities such as betel nuts and black pepper apart from other goods.

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