The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Indian Coast Guard on Thursday recovered 12 kg of gold dumped in the sea off Mandapam in Tamil Nadu’s Rameswaram, officials said on Thursday.
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 its crew had thrown 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 searched for the dumped object since Wednesday afternoon but called off the operation by the evening. The divers resumed the search on Thursday and found a bag containing gold. The DRI officials found that the bag contained gold bars worth 12 kg.
The 1,076-km-long Tamil Nadu coastlinehas been facing a threat of smuggling in recent years. A couple of months ago, a speedboat was found abandoned on the shores of Dhanushkodi in Ramanathapuram district and the intelligence agencies found that it belongs to a fisherman in Sri Lanka’s Jaffna 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. In March 2021 a boat carrying 301 kg of heroin, 5 AK 47 rifles, and 1,000 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 LTTE’s former intelligence operative, Satkunam alias Sabesan who was considered the kingpin.