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Gold worth Rs 20 crore being smuggled from Sri Lanka seized from 2 boats near Tamil Nadu coast

DRI and India Coast Guard seize over 32 kg gold worth Rs 20.21 crore from two fishing boats off Tamil Nadu coast.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) with the help of Indian Coast Guard (ICG) intercepted two fishing boats off the Tamil Nadu coast and seized close to 33 kg gold of foreign origin valued at Rs. 20.21 crore that was being smuggled into India from Sri Lanka, according to information provided by the Finance Ministry today.

Specific intelligence was developed by DRI in Chennai about gold being smuggled from Sri Lanka through the Vedhalai coast in Tamil Nadu’s Ramnad district by different gangs using fishing boats.

DRI officials then mounted an 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 and Coast Guard officers in the morning of 30th May 2023 after a hot chase in the sea.  During the course of interception, the persons in the fishing boat dropped the contraband parcel into the sea.  The package containing11.6 kg of foreign origin gold valued at Rs. 7.13 crore was retrieved from the seabed with the help of expert divers of the Coast Guard.

A second suspected fishing boat was also identified in the night on 30th May. DRI Officers onboarded an Indian customs patrol boat and approached the suspected vessel 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 under the cover of darkness with the smuggled gold. However, the DRI officers chased the smugglers and nabbed them.