With apprehensions growing about the smugglers may shift their focus from air to sea for importing gold, the Indian Customs Department will soon activate sea patrolling formations in Kochi and Kozhikode.
Officials said the department recently filled up the vacancies of ‘lascars’ or sailors, who are currently under training.
The team, comprising 24 sailors, will complete training later this month and is slated to commence operations from August.
The surveillance of sea routes will be carried out using a fleet of 11 boats, of which five will be stationed at Beypore in Kozhikode
Recently, reports have emerged about ‘illicit influx of gold’ into India from the Middle East via Sri Lanka through the sea route.
According to the official, the initiative forms part of attempts to form a joint monitoring mechanism along the coastline in association with agencies including the Indian Navy.
Apart from measures like monitoring trawlers, it also contemplated on a plan to commence road patrolling along coastal roads.