NEW DELHI, Nov 25 (KUNA) -- Indian authorities Monday arrested 56 Sri Lankan nationals in southern state of Kerala on charges of smuggling 11 kilograms of gold jewellery.
According to the government sources, two groups of Sri Lankan nationals, who arrived at Cochin International Airport of Kerala, were apprehended by the Indian air intelligence unit for allegedly smuggling gold worth Indian Rrupees 30 million.
The arrests confirmed that international gold smuggling racket on the Colombo-Kochi-Chennai axis, the sources said.
Customs commissioner at Cochin International Airport said this was the first time Sri Lankans get involved in gold smuggling.
"We would be sending a report to the Sri Lankan embassy through our headquarters soon," he added.
About 10 kil grams of crude gold ornaments have been seized from 42 Sri Lankans, 28 were women on Sunday morning. Another group of 14 Sri Lankans were arrested yesterday evening with 1.733 kg of gold ornaments.
Both groups arrived from Sri Lanka. Most of them were found to have frequently travelled to India from Sri Lanka since September, airport officials claimed. (end) wk.nfm KUNA 251910 Nov 13NNNN