Thiruvananthapuram: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will return and continue its investigations at C-APT (Centre for Advanced Printing and Training) to seek further clarification on the distribution of religious texts that were obtained from the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.
The agency is investigating the discrepancies in the statements given by the C-APT officials to it and the Customs Department and also the suspicious movements of some at C-APT.
The NIA will examine the phone call records of the official who gave the books from the Consulate. It will again question Abdul Rahman, the former managing director of CAPT, and some officials who left the centre recently.
The NIA’s move comes as the Customs Department prepares to question Minister K T Jaleel in a case on the distribution of the texts registered by it.
In all, 32 packets of religious texts were delivered to CAPT. According to the statements given to the NIA, one of the packets was opened and the texts were taken by the CAPT employees. The remaining 31 packets were taken to two institutions in Malappuram.
The NIA found out that each packet contained 32 religious text books and that each book weighed 567 grams. Thus, a packet weighed about 18 kg. According to the statement of one person, 31 such packets were taken to Malappuram in a mini lorry. The total weight of the packets would have been about 580 kg.
However, the probe team got a statement from another person that six vehicles were used several times for the same purpose of delivering the packets. The Customs Department found something suspicious about this and it is this suspicion that brought the NIA into the investigation.
The logbooks and GPS records of the CAPT vehicles have been seized. The NIA found that the GPS of some vehicles had been switched off.
The probe team had suspected earlier that a CAPT vehicle had gone to Bengaluru with the religious texts and the packets were transferred from the vehicle to another private vehicle. This suspicion was followed by discrepancies in the statements of the officials.
Of the total 250 packets that came to the UAE Consulate via the diplomatic channel, 32 were delivered to CAPT. It is said that the remaining packets are still at the Consulate. The NIA, however, requires permission to inspect the Consulate.
Swapna collected consignment from Kochi port
The investigation has now been expanded to the distribution of 17,000 kg of dates in 2017. The dates had come through a shipping container at the Kochi port and Swapna Suresh and PS Sarith, the main accused in the gold smuggling case, had gone to the port to directly collect the consignment. This is what the investigation team is examining.
The Customs Department has registered a separate case over the distribution of dates. It has issued a notice to the department of social justice seeking the accounts of the distribution of dates. It is learnt that Customs has got the details from only eight districts and that, too, figures that are partial. It is also inquiring who gave the permission for distribution of the dates.