DRI and Coast Guard recover gold thrown by smugglers in sea
Chennai: In a joint operation, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), with the help of the Indian Coast Guard, intercepted a fishing boat and seized 17.74 kg of gold approximately valued at Rs 10.1 crore from smugglers.
Three persons involved in the said smuggling were apprehended and are being interrogated.
During the course of interception, the smugglers had thrown the contraband parcel into the sea from a fishing boat. The parcel was retrieved from the seabed with the help of Coast Guard divers near the Mandapam coast in Tamilnadu.
The gold was hidden in the parcel containing 14 packages of foreign-origin gold in various forms – varying sizes of bars, chains, and sticks, and tied in a towel.
Offering details, the DRI stated that it developed intelligence that a gang based in Vedhalai/Mandapam, Ramanathapuram, Tamilnadu, were planning to smuggle huge quantities of gold from Sri Lanka through a fishing boat. The intelligence also revealed that three persons in the fishing boat would collect the gold on the high seas and were planning to land on the coast of Mandapam.
Accordingly, a joint operation with the Indian Coast Guard was planned. A team of Indian Coast Guard officers and officials from DRI mounted surveillance from the Coast Guard ship Charlie 432 and the fishing boat was identified in the early hours of February 8, 2023. On spotting the fishing boat, Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB) from the coast guard ship were deployed and the said fishing boat was intercepted after a chase in the sea near the Mandapam coast.
With this seizure, DRI, Chennai Zonal Unit, has so far seized 209 kg of foreign-origin gold in this Financial Year 2022-23. The all-India gold seizure by DRI is 950 kg (approximately) in this Financial Year.
– global bihari bureau