IMPHAL: Assam Rifles successfully thwarted a major cross-border smuggling attempt along the Manipur-Myanmar border. Acting on a tipoff, the troopers under the aegis of the Inspector General of Assam Rifles (South) were placed on high alert and managed to intercept 601 bags of areca nuts valued at an estimated Rs 6.444 crore. This operation also led to the apprehension of 23 individuals involved in the smuggling attempt.
The clandestine operation involved a fleet of 13 Shaktiman trucks, which were impounded by the authorities. These vehicles were carrying the illegal cargo of areca nuts and were making their way into India from the international border.
The Assam Rifles, a paramilitary force deployed along the Manipur-Myanmar border for several years, played a crucial role in preventing this large-scale smuggling attempt. Manipur shares a 398-kilometer border with Myanmar, making it susceptible to cross-border illegal activities.
The seized areca nuts, highly valued in the regional market, were estimated to be worth a staggering Rs 6.444 crore. This seizure not only represents a significant blow to the smuggling network but also serves as a substantial win in the ongoing efforts to curb illegal activities along the border.
The 23 individuals apprehended during this operation were identified as international smugglers, with some acting as drivers and co-drivers of the illicit cargo. They were taken into custody in the general area of Phaikoh, located in Manipur's Kamjong District, which borders Myanmar to the east.
Following their capture, the apprehended individuals, along with the confiscated goods and impounded vehicles, were handed over to the Forest Department of Kamjong district. Legal proceedings will be initiated to address their involvement in this extensive smuggling operation.
This successful operation by the Assam Rifles underscores the importance of maintaining a strong security presence along the India-Myanmar border to counter cross-border smuggling and other illegal activities. It also highlights the crucial role of intelligence gathering and swift action in preventing substantial losses and upholding the law.