Terror funding a major possibility in Kerala Gold Smuggling case
New Delhi, July 11: The proceeds from the gold being smuggled in the Kerala case could be used for financing terrorism in India, the initial probe by the National Investigation has shown.
On Friday, the NIA registered an FIR in the Kerala Gold Smuggling Case.
The case has been registered under sections 16, 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, against 04 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 aforesaid consignment was found camouflaged in diplomatic baggage from UAE that is exempted from inspection as per the Vienna Convention. The said consignment was to be received by Sarith P S who had worked in the UAE Consulate earlier as Public Relations Officer. Initial investigation by Customs Department has revealed that Sarith had received multiple such consignments earlier as well.
As the case pertains to smuggling of large quantity of gold into India from offshore locations threatening the economic stability and national security of the country, it amounts to a terrorist act as stated in section 15 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
Further, as the case has national and international linkages and as the initial enquiries have revealed that the proceeds of smuggled gold could be used for financing of terrorism in India, NIA has taken up the investigation of the case.
The NIA informed the Kerala High Court that the UAPA which deals with various provisions of terror had been invoked. The submission was made before the court which was hearing the anticipatory bail plea filed by Swapna Suresh.