Kerala Gold Smuggling: NIA digs deeper, makes fresh arrests
New Delhi, Aug 05: The custodial interrogation of K T Ramees, the prime accused in the Kerala Gold Smuggling case has revealed that he was aided and assisted by co-conspirators Sharafudeen and Shafeeq in collecting the smuggled gold from arrested accused Sandeep Nair at Thiruvananthapuram and further distributing the contraband among other co-conspirators.
On the other hand, the NIA has arrested two more accused persons in connection with the case. They have been identified as Sharafudeen and Shafeeq.
The National Investigation Agency said that the accused in the Kerala Gold Smuggling case made a deliberate attempt to undermine the economic stability of the country.
Gold and narcotics are the most preferred means of funding for terrorist activities. After the Mumbai 26/11 attacks, the agencies are on high alert regarding terror funding, the NIA also said.
The submissions were made during the hearing of a bail plea filed by Swapna Suresh one of the key accused in the case. The NIA said that the accused persons used the lockdown period to smuggle the gold and this shows the intent of these persons to destabilise the economy.
These persons smuggled 200 kilograms of gold on 20 occasions since June 2019, the NIA further submitted.
The agency has so far arrested 12 persons in connection with case. The NIA had said that there is a terror angle to this case. The NIA had also arrested one Muhammad Ali, who was charged by the Kerala police in connection with the hand chopping case involving a professor.
On Sunday, the NIA made six fresh arrests in the case. Ali was arrested after the investigation revealed that he was part of the conspiracy. He is alleged to aided and assisted arrested accused, Jalal A M in collecting the smuggled gold from Ramees K T at Thiruvananthapuram and distributing the contraband amongst other conspirators.
The NIA also conducted searches at six places. During searches, 2 hard disks, 1 tablet PC, 8 mobile phones, 6 SIM cards, 1 Digital Video Recorder and 5 DVDs were seized besides various documents including bank passbooks, credit/ debit cards, travel documents and identity documents of the accused.