Vikash Sharma

Rayagada: In a major crackdown, the Special Task Force (STF) of the Odisha Crime Branch on Monday seized 150 kilograms of gemstones worth Rs 1.5 crore following a raid in Rayagada district.

The raid was conducted following a tip-off that huge quantities of semi-precious gemstones have been stashed at a godown allegedly belonging to a jewellery shop.

Gemstones weighing 150 kilograms were found stashed in gunny bags at the godown. Senior officials said that the gemstones seized from the spot include black diamond, gomedh, garnet, yellow zircon, fluorite, yellow topaz, moon stone, ruby, white topaz, quartz and special ruby.

“One person has been detained and he is being questioned in connection with the incident,” said a senior official of the STF.

It is pertinent to mention here that the STF has launched a crackdown on illegal trafficking of the gemstones which has now become rampant in Odisha.

On July 13, the Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha Crime Branch had seized over three quintals (302 kg approx) of precious gemstones following a raid at Palash village under Junagarh police limits in Kalahandi district.

All the gemstones were recovered from the house of Sujit Meher, who was subsequently arrested on the charges of illegal possession of the precious gemstones.

Following the raid on the residence of Sujit, the STF sleuths had and found four gunny bags full of gemstones -Ruby and Panna (Emerald) weighing 302.18 kg.