Mastermind Fareed Faisal used diplomatic channels to smuggle 230 kgs of gold to Kerala
New Delhi, July 20: Fareed Faisal, the mastermind in the Kerala Gold Smuggling case allegedly used diplomatic channels to smuggle 230 kilograms of gold. Investigations by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has found that Faisal may have moved gold through diplomatic channels on 20 or more occasions.
It has been found that the racket was operated with ease owing to diplomatic immunity enjoyed by the diplomat, sources tell OneIndia.
The agencies had to seek prior permission from the Ministry of External Affairs to open the diplomat's bags. Three bags had come in between June 27 and July 3.
The sudden exit of the diplomat Rashed Alshemeili has also set the tongues wagging. He is a key witness in the case, but he made a sudden exit to his country. He enjoys immunity under the Vienna Convention. However on Sunday, he reached Delhi and took a flight to UAE.
On Saturday, the NIA had requestioned the Interpol to issue a blue corner notice against Faisal. He has been accused by the NIA for forging documents, smuggling and also terror funding. The Indian embassy has also intimated the UAE government about blocking Faisal's passport.
Faisal has a business in Dubai and is residing with his family at Al Rashidiya. He was picked up from his residence and questioned by the police. He revealed that he had smuggled 230 kilograms of gold into Kerala.
The National Investigation Agency which was permitted by the Ministry of Home Affairs to probe the case is looking into a wide range of issues. A hawala network and the possible terror funding are on the radar of the NIA.
The Enforcement Directorate too may join the probe soon, if any angle relating to money laundering crops up. Sources tell OneIndia that there is a high possibility of money laundering in this case and the ED is keeping a close watch on the developments.
The case has been registered under sections 16, 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, against four accused persons including Swapna Prabha Suresh.
The case relates to the seizure of 30 kg of 24 carat gold worth Rs.14.82 crores at Trivandrum International Airport, the NIA said.