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21kg gold being smuggled from Sri Lanka seized

12 November 2011 01:59 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Two persons were arrested late on Thursday night when they attempted to smuggle about 20kg of gold from Sri Lanka. In another incident, a 45-year-old woman was taken into custody by the Trichy customs officials on Friday while trying to smuggle 1.2kg of gold bars, also from Sri Lanka.

The two cases of attempted gold smuggling from Sri Lanka to Tamil Nadu have prompted the customs officials to review security along the coastline in Nagapattinam, particularly in highly sensitive places like Kodiakadu, Kodiakarai and Velankanni.

S. Anand (28) and Kodiakkarai Vedayan (26) were arrested at the Vedaranyam checkpost while trying to smuggle 156 gold bars, valued at Rs.2.5 crore, that were allegedly transported from Sri Lanka by sea to Kodiakarai (Point Calimere) in the Nagapattinam District. Acting on a tip-off, the Nagapattinam customs officials mounted their vigilance at the 11-odd checkposts in the Nagapattinam coastal belt. One of the vehicles, which were intercepted at a checkpost near Velankanni, was found to contain the gold bars.

Investigations revealed that the two arrested persons were associated with persons who allegedly had links with some of the accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

In the second incident, K. Chandra (45) of Pudukottai was arrested when she tried to smuggle the gold bars valued at Rs.30 lakh into the city. Customs officials said the woman, who landed in Trichy from Colombo on a Sri Lankan Airlines flight on Thursday, had concealed the gold bars in her saree. She was remanded to judicial custody after the air intelligence registered a case against her.

Earnest Ravi, superintendent of air intelligence at the Tiruchirappalli airport, said the gold bars bore the "Swiss" mark. Sri Lanka was only used as a conduit point as the smugglers think the island nation is less strict, he said. (Source: The Times of India)
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