Chennai, Feb 9( BPNS)
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) sleuths and Indian Coast Guard officials on Thursday recovered 12 kg of gold dumped in the sea near Mandapam in Rameswaram.
The DRI had received a tip-off that a boat was headed towards the Rameswaram coast and it contained smuggled goods. The DRI and Coast Guard officials on Wednesday intercepted a boat and found that the boatmen had deposited something into the sea.
Those in the boat were interrogated after taking them to the mainland and scuba divers were brought from Thoothukudi. The divers went in search of the dumped object since Wednesday afternoon and called off the operation by evening.
The divers went into the sea on Thursday and found a bag containing gold. The DRI officials found that the bag contained gold bars worth 12 kg.
It may be noted that the Tamil Nadu coastline with 1076 km has been facing a threat of smuggling in recent years. A couple of months before a speedboat was found abandoned on the shores of Dhanushkodi in Ramanathapuram district and the Intelligence agencies found that the boat belongs to a fisherman in Jaffna in Sri Lanka and could have been used to smuggle contraband or infiltrators into the country.
While the infiltration of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees is low, law enforcement agencies are of the opinion that there is no respite in the smuggling of goods including drugs and arms to India. It may be reminisced that in March 2021 a boat carrying 301 kg of heroin, 5 AK 47 rifles, and 1000 rounds of 9mm ammunition with Six Sri Lankans on board was apprehended. On investigation, the NIA arrested a few people in Tamil Nadu including the former intelligence operative of LTTE, Satkunam alias Sabesan who was considered the kingpin.