New Delhi: A joint anti-smuggling operation by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) resulted in seizure of approximately 9 kg of gold in Gulf of Mannar, off Tamil Nadu coast. The gold bars worth Rs 4.5 crore were recovered from a fishing boat named ‘Sailor’.
The two-day joint operation took place after DRI sources received a tip off that gold was being smuggled into India through sea route from Sri Lanka. Based on actionable intelligence provided by DRI officials, a well-coordinated operation was launched by Coast Guard Station Mandapam resulting in apprehension of five fishermen along with fishing boat. During the rummaging, it was found that, the seized gold bars were hidden under the engine bay camouflaged in a cloth bag.
During investigation it was revealed that, the apprehended boat allegedly received the contraband in Gulf of Mannar and was proceeding to Marakkayar Pattinam close to Mandapam. The seized items along with the fishermen and boat were handed over to the DRI for further investigations. Earlier in the month of March 20, in a similar operation Indian Coast Guard has recovered 15 kg of gold dumped from fishing boat at sea near Rameshwaram coast.
The Indian Coast Guard has been maintaining enhanced surveillance in the region and a number of successful anti-smuggling operations have been undertaken in the recent past in close coordination with other stakeholders. The successful operation reiterates Indian Coast Guard’s resolve for ensuring safe seas in the region through extensive surveillance for monitoring suspicious activities at Sea.