Hyderabad: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in Hyderabad has stumbled upon an ingenious case of smuggling following the arrest of a Hyderabadi-British lawyer based in London three days ago.
Zia Unnisa who is from Hyderabad but reportedly practices law in the UK, has allegedly smuggled 350 kg gold in the last three months from Dubai into Hyderabad. Though she had a house in the upmarket Banjara Hills she was staying in a five-star hotel. Between February and May, she has traveled to Dubai 30 times or every fourth day, every time carrying around 11kg of the precious yellow metal.
Her cover was blown when the DRI official, following a tipoff, searched her on her arrival from Dubai on Tuesday and found that she was carrying 11kg gold bars hidden in stockings, socks, and other clothing.
When the DRI officials tracked her down to her hotel room and began grilling several unsavory facts about her started tumbling out.
Zia Unnisa who completed her education in Britain is from Hyderabad. She was married to a US-based businessman but owing serious differences with the husband got divorced some time ago. She has a teen-aged daughter who travels with her wherever she goes. It is still not known whether the girl too has worked as her conduit.
The DRI officials who have been talking to her said that this was their biggest haul of gold in five years.
“She was one-woman gang who bought gold in Dubai, smuggled it into Hyderabad, sold it in the city and converted her rupees into American dollars and UAE dirhams,” one of the officials said on condition of anonymity.
Zia Unnisa has reportedly five major jewelers in the city who have been purchasing the yellow metal from her regularly.
“She is a person of multiple identities. She is a registered advocate in Britain, a journalist working with a British publication and a teacher with a college in Khairtabad,” he added.
“Our investigation will continue for some more time before we declare what level of smuggling she has been involved in,” another official said.
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