By Manjeet Negi, Pramod Madhav: In a joint operation of the Indian Coast Guard, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and the Customs Department, nearly 33 kg of gold worth Rs 20.2 crores was seized from two fishing boats in the Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu.
The seized gold was being smuggled into India from Sri Lanka.
Based on specific input from DRI about the smuggling of contraband from Sri Lanka to India, a joint operation was launched by the Indian Coast Guard and DRI on May 30 to maintain surveillance on fishing vessels operating in the Gulf of Mannar, especially near the Indo-Srilanka International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).
The authorities detected a suspicious boat approaching the Mandapam fishing harbour on May 30. When challenged, the boat tried to evade but was apprehended in the north of the Gulf of Mannar.
However, during the chase, the suspects dropped the smuggled contraband into the water. Later, the boat along with three suspects was nabbed and taken into custody.
The illegal gold weighing about 12 kg was also recovered on June 1 from the sea after a diving operation was launched by the Indian Coast Guard.
In another operation, a team of DRI apprehended another boat in the Mandapam town of Tamil Nadu, seizing about 22 kg of smuggled gold.