Udayavni Special

DRI seizes 194 kg of gold worth Rs 57.73 Cr in FY17-18


Team Udayavani, May 3, 2018, 3:53 PM IST

Chennai: Gold weighing 194 kilograms worth Rs 57.53 crore has been seized in the last financial year, a Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) official said.

A majority of the yellow metal confiscated was smuggled from the neighbouring Sri Lanka, the official added.

Smuggling of gold was a recurrent issue in the southern region and Tamil Nadu with vast coastal area was “prone” to it, he said.

“In the last financial year (2017-18) alone, DRI Chennai seized 194 kilograms of gold worth Rs 57.73 crore,” the official said.

The bulk of the gold was seized from the coastal regions, he said, adding that the “most vulnerable areas were the stretches between Tiruchendur and Rameswaram and Rameswaram and Vedaranyam”.

Gold smuggling was normally carried out using country and small fishing boats, he said.

Referring to the latest recoveries made by the agency, he said the officers in three separate incidents had seized a total of 32.24 kg of gold of foreign-origin smuggled into the country by sea from Sri Lanka.

The value of gold seized was Rs 10.21 crore and six persons were arrested under the provisions of the Customs Act.

The individuals arrested have confessed that they had accepted to transport the gold that was smuggled from Sri Lanka to Chennai for a “monetary consideration”, he said.

In February, during the 28th Indo-Sri Lanka DG Level talks at New Delhi, the issue was discussed and the administrations firmly resolved to curb smuggling of gold.

“Sri Lanka customs and Navy also increased efforts to curb smuggling of gold and other contraband,” the official said.

Last month, the island nation increased the rate of import duty of gold to 15 per cent from the earlier 10 per cent with an eye on curbing smuggling of the yellow metal.

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