Police also seized sandalwood pieces worth Rs 50,000 and the equipment used for the smuggling, from them. The police are on lookout for one more suspect, S Selvakumar from Kembanaickenpatti.
When the police arrived at M R Pattinam near Thondi, a group of people fled the scene abandoning the contraband on the shore.
A 47-year-old man from Bengaluru, who was found carrying 2.4kg of contraband gold in his backpack and had allegedly ‘used’ his 10-year-old son, who was accompanying him, to escape detection.
In the event of individuals being caught by the Election Commission of India (ECI) or during police checks or raids, additional charges are incurred.
Three separate passengers on board Indigo flight 6E 1056 from Bangkok were caught, and each of them was wearing two crude gold chains around their necks, weighing 300 grams.
However, taking advantage of the darkness, fog, the undulating terrain and riverine channels, the smugglers made an escape.
A Customs source said that five of the passengers had concealed the gold in semi-solid form in their rectum.
Preliminary investigation revealed Ravikumar could have been assisted by customs officials. He has been in the shipping field for over 15 years and predominantly imported cotton rags.
A total of 30.245 kg of gold valued at Rs 14.82 crore was seized from the Thiruvananthapuram airport in 2020, as per the customs department.
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The crackdown on the smugglers and the seizure was possible through the efforts of police personnel at the Pedda Pannangadu check post.
Police said, upon information regarding the sand smuggling operation from Palar riverbed, Manavalan rushed to the spot near Chinna Thottalam at around 6.45 pm on Friday.
Upon inspection, it was revealed that five persons from Odisha had brought the Ganja to the district for sale. Police said that the gang’s motive was to make easy money.
However, the counsel of ED in Madurai objected that the court had already denied bail in June 2023 and that he does not have any life-threatening diseases to warrant bail.
Rose directs ROs to submit seizure-related information every day
In the year 2022-24, the Vijayawada Customs (Preventive) commissionerate has made seizures of smuggled gold to the tune of more than 70 kg worth over Rs 40 crores.
The probe so far has also revealed the complicity of certain customs officials at the airport in facilitating gold smuggling.
He said that they have booked around 270 rice smuggling cases in the past nine months and arrested over 200 persons.
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he kingpin of ganja smuggling was identified as Aaron, who has been searched in several cases related to illegal hoarding of at least 3,000 kg of ganja.