Two from Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh held

  • Seized material worth Rs. 39 lakhs
  • Berhampur is a major trading point of gold, silver

    BERHAMPUR: With the seizure of 294 kg of silver bricks and ornaments from two persons of Andhra Pradesh staying in the city on Monday night by the commercial taxes wing of the Berhampur Vigilance Department, illegal trading of precious metals by an inter-state gang has come to light. The two persons having the unaccounted silver in their possession were identified as B. Faqiruddin and N. Abdul Gafar of Kadapa district in Andhra Pradesh.

    Both of them were staying at a room in the top floor of a building that houses the shop of a gold and silver merchant at Bada Bazaar area of the city. Following a tip-off, vigilance officials raided their room and seized silver bricks and ornaments.

    According to Superintendent of Police (vigilance) Surya Thankappan, the worth of the seized material is Rs. 39 lakhs and it is said to be the largest seizure of unaccounted precious metal in the city.

    Tax evasion charge

    She said the duo had tried to evade tax worth more than Rs. 7 lakhs through unaccounted trading. Now they have to pay up the tax or the haul may be confiscated.

    Berhampur happens to be a major trading point of gold and silver in Orissa and there are reports of illegal trading of the precious metal. Usually unaccounted gold and silver get transported to the city from outside the State through middlemen and the government loses its tax share in this illegal trading, say the vigilance officials.

    The gold and silver got from melting of idols stolen from Sri Jagannath temple and Lingaraj temple had also been sold to a merchant of the city. In the past Andhra police made raids at Bada Bazaar area of the city.