The Coastal Security Group (CSG) has formed three special teams to nab two Madurai-based agents, who acted as vital links in the smuggling of gold biscuits from Sri Lanka by sea on Saturday, CSG Additional Director-General of Police C.Sylendra Babu said.
Talking to reporters here on Sunday after inspecting 34.52 kg of gold biscuits, seized by CSG special teams at the Pamban Railway station near here, he said the teams were formed to arrest Mohideen, who escaped after abandoning the contraband at the railway station, and his accomplice.
He said four cloth belts had 108 gold biscuits worth about Rs. 10 crore. They were in different sizes and had no markings. Preliminary investigation revealed that the biscuits were smuggled on behalf of some jewellery houses, he said. The two arrested fishermen, who had received the contraband on the high seas from a Sri Lanka-based agent, did not exchange anything in return for the gold, Mr.Sylendra Babu said.
The agent and the fishermen had known each other for several years, but this was the first time they smuggled gold. The CSG would step up patrolling in Rameswaram, Tuticorin and Vedaranyam areas, he said.
The ADGP, accompanied by Inspector General of Police K.Sokkalingam and Superintendent of Police V.Vanitha and Inspector of Police M.Kumaravel, carried out the inspection of the contraband before handing it over to Mr P.V.Subba Rao, Commissioner of Customs, Tiruchi.
Sources in the Customs said the gold biscuits had its origin in Dubai. They were smuggled to evade customs and excise duties. The Customs arrested the two fishermen under Section 104 of the Customs Act, 1962. They would be produced before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Madurai, trying economic offences cases, the sources said.
The contraband would be kept in the Customs Preventive Unit (CPV) in Madurai and would be handed over to the Indian Government Mint in Mumbai after obtaining court orders, the sources said.