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In a joint operation, ICG seizes 4.9 kilograms of foreign-origin gold off Mandapam coast in Tamil Nadu

April 6, 2024 Photo(s): By PIB
DRI seized 4.9 KGs foreign origin gold, worth ₹3.43 crore in a joint operation with Indian Coast Guard & Custom Preventive unit at mid-sea near Mandapam, Tamilnadu.

In a joint operation with the Indian Coast Guard and Customs Preventive Unit (CPU), Ramanathapuram, DRI seized 4.9 Kg of foreign-origin gold at mid-sea near Vedhalai coast, Mandapam in Tamil Nadu.

Specific intelligence was developed by the officers of DRI that foreign-origin gold is being smuggled into India from Sri Lanka through the Vedhalai coast in Ramnathapuram District by a gang using the fishing boat. Accordingly, officers of DRI and ICG mounted surveillance over the movement of suspected fishing boats at the Vedhalai Coastal area near Mandapam on the intervening night of April 3-4. In the early hours of April 4, the officers identified a suspected boat at mid-sea and chased the same in an ICG vessel and intercepted it. Just before the point of interception, the officers noticed that a consignment was thrown into the sea by one of the persons onboard the suspected boat.

There were three persons onboard the said country boat and during interrogation, they admitted that the consignment thrown in the sea consisted of foreign-origin gold smuggled from Sri Lanka and it was received at deep sea from a boat from Sri Lanka.

In the meantime, officers of CPU Ramanathapuram also joined in a boat and the location where the smuggled gold was thrown into the sea was secured and a search operation was commenced. On the afternoon of April 5, the smuggled gold was retrieved after an extensive search operation at sea bed. On opening the consignment retrieved from the sea bed, it was found that crude gold bars of different sizes weighing 4.9 kg valued ₹3.43 crore were tightly packed in a towel and thrown inside the sea to avoid detection. The DRI officers have seized the said 4.9 Kg of foreign origin smuggled and all three persons have been apprehended and are being interrogated.