Why the Kerala Gold Smuggling case is an act of terror
New Delhi, July 17: The National Investigation Agency has reiterated that the accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case committed an act of terror, which could threaten the security and economic stability of the country.
The submission was made by the NIA while opposing the bail plea filed by Swapna Suresh a key accused in the case. The accused were well aware that their actions could damage India's relations with the UAE. They conspired, recruited people, raised funds, smuggled 167 kilograms of gold from UAE between November 2019 and June 2020 and formed a terrorist group, the NIA also said.
Further the NIA said that the accused smuggled gold in the name of cargo for diplomats at the consulate general of the UAE in Thiruvananthapuram. These acts amounted to offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The probe has established the accused had committed an act of terror and they knew fully well that smuggling gold in such large quantity into India would threaten the security and economic security of the country, the NIA said.
The accused in the Kerala Gold Smuggling case had knowingly conspired since June 2019, raised funds and smuggled gold from the UAE, the National Investigation Agency said.
Between November 2019 and June 2020, the accused had smuggled 167 kilograms of gold through the import cargo addressed to diplomats at the Consulate General of the UAE in Thiruvananthapuram, the NIA learnt during the probe. Significantly the main accused in this case had also planned to smuggle more gold from countries like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, the NIA said while filing a chargesheet 20 persons in the case.
The case was registered by NIA July 10 2020 against Sarith P S. Swapna Prabha Suresh, Faisal Fareed, Sandeep Nair and others under sections 16, 17 and 18 of UA (P) Act consequent to the seizure of around 30 Kg of gold worth Rs 14.82 crores on July 5 at the Trivandrum International Airport by Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Cochin, from the import cargo addressed to the Charge D' Affaires at the Consulate General of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Thiruvananthapuram.
Absconding accused Swapna Prabha Suresh and Sandeep Nair were arrested by NIA from Bengaluru on July 11 2020. During investigation, thirty-one more persons, who had conspired and financed the gold smuggling besides facilitated the disposal of the contraband and transfer of proceeds thereof to the UAE through hawala channels, for purchasing and smuggling more gold, with the intention of threatening the economic security of India, were arraigned as accused in the case.