Ramanathapuram, Mar 3 (UNI) In a major operation, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) seized a large quantity of batteries packed in 67 cartons, meant for smuggling to Sri Lanka off Mandapam Coast today.
According to ICG sources, an interceptor vessel of the ICG while conducting a routine patrolling along the Indian territorial waters noticed a torch light signal from an outboard engine-fitted country boat at mid sea, early today. They immediately rushed to the boat.
On seeing the ICG vessel, the crew of the boat fled the scene.
However, the ICG vessel gave a hot chase but, the crew of the country boat rushed to the Hair island, one of the big islands in the Indian territorial waters and escaped into the deep jungles of the island leaving their boat at the shore.
Since the interceptor vessel could not reach the shore, they sought the assistance of Hovercraft of the ICG. The commandos of the ICG in turn rushed to the Hair island with a Hovercraft, which had a facility to land at the island.
The commandos conducted a combing operation in the jungles, but could not apprehend the smugglers. The country boat left by the smugglers was seized by the ICG and they found batteries packed in 67 carton boxes.
Later, the boat was brought to the Mandapam Coast for further investigations. The seized consignment would be handed over to the state police, ICG sources added.
Meanwhile, a special police team arrested one Abdul Kareem, the kingpin behind the smuggling of batteries to Sri Lanka from Keezhakarai in the district, this evening, based on the inputs from the ICG.
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