CBI yet to establish gold smuggling link in Balabhaskar's death, widens probe to old cases

CBI finds no link between gold smuggling and Balabhaskar's death
The car in which Balabhaskar and his family were travelling met with an accident on the National Highway at Pallippuram in Thiruvananthapuram district on September 25, 2018, killing him and his daughter.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Central Bureau of Investigation’s Thiruvananthapuram unit has not been able to find any evidence linking the death of Balabhaskar to gold smuggling yet.But as witnesses stand firm with their statements, the investigation is being extended to older gold smuggling cases. The CBI has collected from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) information regarding the gold smuggling case in which Balabhaskar's friends were the accused.

The CBI investigation is based on the statement of Kalabhavan Sobi who claimed to have seen an accused in the gold smuggling case at the site of the accident that killed Balabhaskar and his daughter. But no evidence has been found linking the mishap to gold smuggling.

The report of the lie-detector test to confirm whether his statements are true is yet to be made available. This prompted the CBI to go ahead with the investigation by examining the case-files obtained from the DRI.

The fact that two of Balabhaskar’s friends, Prakashan Thampi and Vishnu Somasundaram, were accused in a Thiruvananthapuram airport gold smuggling case and Sobi’s statement about what he saw at the accident site had given rise to suspicion about the gold smuggling connection to the violinist’s death.

The DRI had recorded Sobi’s statement earlier. When the agency showed photos of gold smugglers to Sobi, he identified one of them as being present at the accident site. However, that person has not been arrested.

Sobi later told the same thing to the CBI. It is in view of this that the CBI investigation is now looking at old gold smuggling cases.

The car in which Balabhaskar and his family were travelling met with an accident on the National Highway near the CRPF camp junction at Pallippuram in Thiruvananthapuram district on the morning of September 25, 2018. Balabhaskar died while receiving treatment in a hospital after the accident. His daughter was also killed in the mishap while his wife was seriously injured.

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