Chennai: With international flights resuming from Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchi, and Madurai airports, the gold smuggling activities have increased in Tamil Nadu.
The DRI arrested Thangakesavarn and Nandini- Malayasian nationals, from Coimbatore international airport on Friday April 29 with 4.2 kg of gold worth Rs 2.26 crore on Friday.
The air customs intelligence wing has in a couple of days before arrested a Sri Lankan national with 3.2 kg of gold from the Madurai airport. On interrogation, he has informed the customs officials that the Tamil Nadu airports are being used as a major point for the smuggling of gold to India. Far Eastern countries like Singapore and Malaysia and Sri Lanka which are waging a battle against economic crisis are the main sources of gold.
According to Customs officials, smuggling a Kilogram of gold to India fetches anywhere between 5 to 6 lakh rupees and the carriers are generally given up and down tickets and an amount of Rs 30,000 to 40,000.
The smuggling rackets operating in Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, and Dubai are sending on a daily basis around 40 to 75 lakhs of gold, according to customs sources into India through airports in Tamil Nadu.
Sources in the customs told IANS that some jewellers from Kerala who have showrooms across the country and in the middle eastern countries were using carriers for smuggling in gold. While some Tamil jewellers have also joined hands with these smuggling networks, sources in customs said that their presence was negligible.
DRI and Customs Air Intelligence are on a high alert following the regular seizure of gold and other items from the airports in Tamil Nadu.
The DRI has also questioned some of the persons responsible for this smuggling to extract whether the money received through gold smuggling is used for anti-national and terror activities. The DRI and customs have deployed an air intelligence squad in all the four airports in Tamil Nadu to prevent the smuggling of gold.