Chennai: In a joint operation, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), with the help of Indian Coast Guard (ICG), Mandapam & Ramnad Customs, Preventive Division, intercepted two fishing boats and seized 32.869 kg of foreign origin gold valued at Rs. 20.21 crore that was smuggled into India from Sri Lanka through the coast.
Specific intelligence was developed by DRI, Chennai, that foreign origin gold is being smuggled from Sri Lanka through Vedhalai coast in Ramnad (TN) by different gangs using fishing boats. Accordingly, the DRI officers mounted extensive coastal surveillance with the help of ICG and identified the suspected fishing boats.
One of the suspected fishing boats was intercepted by a team of DRI officers and Coast Guard officers in the morning of 30th May 2023 after a chase in the sea. During the course of interception, the persons in the fishing boat dropped the contraband parcel into the sea. The contraband parcel containing 11.6 kg of foreign origin gold valued at Rs. 7.13 crore was retrieved from the seabed with the help of Coast Guard expert divers and the same was seized along with the boat used for smuggling the gold.
In the night of 30th May 2023, a second suspected fishing boat was identified. Thereafter, the DRI Officers onboarded an Indian customs patrol boat and approached towards the suspected fishing boat and saw from a distance that inmates of the boat were handing over a parcel to two receivers waiting on the shore. On spotting the Indian Customs boat fast approaching them from the sea side, both the receivers tried to escape into dark by running away with the smuggled gold. The officers chased the receivers in the dark and nabbed them.
On examination of the persons, eight packets were found inside a jacket carried by them. Detailed examination led to the recovery of 21.269 kg of foreign origin gold valued at Rs. 13.08 crore from the persons and the same was seized along with the boat and a two wheeler used for smuggling the gold.
Further investigation is under progress.