In an early morning operation on Monday, Customs Preventive Unit (CPU) sleuths seized 2.4 kg of gold biscuits, smuggled from Sri Lanka, through the sea route after intercepting two fishermen on the coast between Mukuntharayar Chathiram and Dhanushkodi.
Acting on specific intelligence, a six-member team, led by Superintendents Muniasamy and M. Pugazhendi, visited the seashore around 1. 30 a.m. and made the seizure after intercepting the fishermen, who returned to the shore in a country boat after receiving the gold biscuits from a contact on the high seas.
Identifying the two fishermen as N. Vairalingam (38) and K. Muthukumar (37) of Natarajapuram in Rameswaram, Customs sources said they were bringing the smuggled gold, concealed in a fishing net, when the officials nabbed them. They smuggled three pieces of gold biscuits with foreign markings, the sources said, adding while two pieces weighed 1 kg each, one broken piece weighed 400 gm.
After questioning the detained fishermen, the officials detained two more persons, who came from Kerala, on suspicion that they could have come to receive the smuggled gold. The officials also detained their car bearing a Kerala registration number, the sources said.
The two fishermen, who had links with smugglers, ventured into the sea on Sunday night and were waiting on the high seas, when a smuggler from Sri Lanka met them on the high seas and handed them over the gold. The fishermen were told that they should hand over the gold to a contact after reaching the shore.
The seizure comes two days after the sleuths of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized gold biscuits weighing 28 kg in three separate operations in Coimbatore, Ramanathapuram and Sayalkudi on Saturday. The CPU on May 4 had seized 4 kg of gold after chasing fishermen on the high seas.