Thursday, March 4, 2021
Home News Reports Kerala racket smuggled 150 kgs of gold since September 2019: NIA

Kerala racket smuggled 150 kgs of gold since September 2019: NIA

The NIA on Monday deposed in the court that 9 and 18 kilos of gold were smuggled through the same route right before the seizure of 30 kgs of gold at Thiruvananthapuram airport.

In a stunning revelation in the Kerala Smuggling case, the National Investigation Agency investigating the smuggling of the gold has found that the racket had managed to bring in 1.5 quintal (150 kgs) of gold in the country through diplomatic channels at Thiruvananthapuram airport since September 2019. The NIA had further disclosed that the smuggling of gold was not done for jewellery but funding terrorist activities in India.

On Monday, NIA remanded the suspects– Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, who worked for the UAE consulate, in the agency’s custody till July 21. The NIA has also found that the accused had forged UAE’s emblem to send the gold consignments.

Gold smuggling started in September 2019

“As per the preliminary investigation carried out by several agencies, the gang had been smuggling gold since September 2019. They had smuggled around 150 kgs of gold till date. The interrogation of the suspects will shed more light on their modus operandi and the other people involved,” said a source quoted by New Indian Express.

While the agency is yet to be sure if the diplomatic channel was the only means through which the accused smuggled in the gold, the authorities privy to the details of the smuggling case have revealed that the same racket had been involved in handling the gold consignments through the same route on June 24 and June 26 too.

The NIA on Monday deposed in the court that 9 and 18 kilos of gold were smuggled through the same route right before the seizure of 30 kgs of gold at Thiruvananthapuram airport. It also added that the smuggling started in 2019 and the accused used diplomatic channels to ship the gold to beat the artificial intelligence-based scanners at the airport.

Gold smuggling linked to funding terror activities

The NIA had added that an initial probe by the Ministry of Home Affairs had conducted an initial probe and found that the smuggled gold was used for funding terror activities.

Responding to the court’s query on how a smuggling incident can be linked funding terror activities, the counsel representing agency argued that illegal activity of such high-level sophistication is a threat to the nation’s financial stability. In contrast to hawala and counterfeit money, a single bid of gold smuggling can garner a huge amount.

According to the NIA, a detailed investigation is required as it concerns the India-UAE bilateral relationship. The UAE has also launched a probe into the matter.

One of the accused—Sandeep Nair deposed in the court that the consignment was addressed to a UAE diplomat named Rashid Al Sheimeili and raised questions over why was the diplomat not being interrogated in this regard.

Malappuram-based businessman K T Rameez arrested in the case

The high-profile case linking the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also saw the arrest of one KT Rameez, a Malappuram-based businessman, believed to be the lynchpin of the gold smuggling racket.

Rameez was nabbed from his residence at Vettathoor near Perinthalmanna in the early morning on July 12, and his arrest would further expedite the probe. Rameez is an investor and a distributor of smuggled gold in the state, and the customs officials expect that his custodial interrogation could provide further details of investors in the gold smuggling racket. They believe that Rameez may have details of other people involved in the coordination of the smuggling, along with the extent of the involvement of Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair.

Rameez is said to be an investor and a distributor of smuggled gold in the state and custom officials are hoping that his custodial interrogation could provide furthers details of investors in the gold smuggling racket and key personnel involved in coordinating the smuggling, and the extent of involvement of Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair.

Kerala gold smuggling case accused arrested from Bengaluru

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday detained two key accused in Kerala gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, from Bengaluru.

According to the reports, the two accused in the high-profile case linking the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan were on the run for the last six days after the Customs Department had seized 30 kg of gold from the consignment that had arrived from the UAE, which was marked to the country’s consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Congress attacks the Modi government for a reduction in the unemployment rate: Read details

Congress party posted a infographic showing unemployment dropping from 23.53% to 21.73% in one month, and attacked Modi govt for it

Feminism is not un-Islamic: Pakistan’s Aurat Azadi March explains ahead of Women’s Day after the rally was attacked last year

"We are against all such archaic practices that have been traditionally used to oppress women," said the video posted by Aurat March

‘Was shot at because I carried out Tiranga rally and opposed throwing of beef outside Hindu houses’: RSS activist narrates political violence in West...

In December 2019, RSS activist Bir Bahadur Singh was shot at point-blank range in his back in Kolkata’s Metiabruz area in broad daylight

As Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee Pannu and others face raid by Income Tax department, ‘liberals’ descend to cry vendetta

Liberals suffered a meltdown on Twitter after 22 locations linked to director Anurag Kashyap & others were raided by I-T Department

Metro car shed: Maha govt says it is ready to pay for disputed Kanjurmarg land, months after claiming it cost Rs 0

The disputed Kanjurmarg land, which the Maharashtra government and Aaditya Thackeray boasted of being acquired for free of cost, is currently under litigation.

Jalgaon shocker: Police officials and hostel employees accused of forcing women residents to strip dance, complaint filed

The resident girls in the hostel have alleged that police personnel and some outsiders, in connivance with some hostel employees, were allowed to enter the hostel under the pretext of interrogation.

Recently Popular

PM Modi and his mother abused live on air by a caller on a BBC radio show on Sikhs in the UK

BBC edited the program and the host offered apology after caller abused PM Modi and his mother during a live radio show

‘Inserted her hand claiming she was planting a tree’: LGBT activist Divya Dureja accused of sexual assault under pretext of shamanic ritual

A popular LGBT activist Divya Dureja has been accused of sexual assault by Elodie Gendron under pretext of a Shamanic ritual.

Aamir Khan shelves Mahabharat amidst controversies because ‘now is not the right time’: Reports

Aamir Khan has shelved his 'Mahabharat' project amidst controversies because the 'timing' is not right, reports say.

Her husband used to talk vulgar to girlfriend in front of her: Here is what the lawyer of Ayesha, who jumped into Sabarmati river,...

Ayesha, who committed suicide by jumping into the Sabarmati River in Gujarat on March 1, had a disquiet marital life

Sourav Ganguly may attend PM Modi’s Brigade Ground rally in Kolkata on 7th March: Local media

Sourav Ganguly may attend PM Modi's rally at Brigade Ground in Kolkata on March 7, according to reports in local media.

The Hindu ‘journalist’ Suhasini Haidar puts out misinformation about ISRO satellite launch: Read details

Suhasini Haidar, National Editor of 'The Hindu', put out false information on social media in attempt to mislead the public.
- Advertisement -


Connect with us