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Indian Coast Guard and DRI recovered and seized 17.74 kg Gold from sea bed of Tamil Nadu coast, after it was thrown by smugglers from fishing boat

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NEW DELHI : In a Joint Operation, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), with the help of the Indian Coast Guard, intercepted a fishing boat, after a chase in the sea near the Mandapam Coast, with foreign origin Gold weighing 17.74 kg valued at Rs 10.1 crore approximately. The said gold is seized under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962.

The gold was hidden in a parcel containing 14 packages of foreign origin gold in various forms – varying sizes of bars, chains, and sticks, and tied in a towel. Three persons involved in the said smuggling have been apprehended and being interrogated.

The DRI developed an 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 in the high seas and are planning to land in the coast of Mandapam.

Accordingly, a joint operation along 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 8th February 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.

During the course of interception, the persons in the fishing boat threw the contraband parcel into the sea.  The parcel containing the contraband was retrieved from the seabed with the help of Coast Guard Divers.

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 (approx.) in this Financial Year.

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