Gold smuggling case: Anti-national forces raised funds, says NIA

Kochi: The accused in the notorious gold smuggling case are suspected of activities inimical to the interests of India. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has stated that anti-national forces had raised large amounts of funds both within and outside the country through gold smuggling via the diplomatic channel.

From the statements of the accused, it was clear that the funds thus raised were not entirely used for gold smuggling, the NIA said.

The central probe agency said that the presence of anti-national groups was detected after people who were not directly related to gold trade also had to be booked in the gold smuggling case.

The NIA in its charge-sheet stated that the accused plotted to smuggle gold through the diplomatic baggage addressed to the officials at the UAE Consulate in the Kerala capital to fund their discreet activities in the country.

The accused had smuggled 167kg of gold through diplomatic baggage over several times. The smuggling, which likely began in November 2019, was caught for the first time on June 30, 2020.

Even before smuggling gold the accused had formed an anti-national gang, according to the NIA.

KT Ramees
KT Ramees

This gang tasked K T Ramees, accused in the case, to bring in Swapna Suresh and P S Sarith, who worked at the Consulate. More people were recruited to the gang that operated out of Dubai, the charge-sheet submitted by the probe team suggests.

The preliminary charge-sheet has been filed against 20 accused. A supplementary charge-sheet on the terror links would be submitted soon.

More accused are likely to be named in the supplementary charge-sheet.

M Sivasankar
M Sivasankar

Remand extended

The economic offences court has extended the remand of six among the accused in the gold smuggling case till February 16. They are Swapna Suresh, P S Sarith, Sandeep Nair, K T Ramees, A M Jalaal, and P Mohammed Shafi.

They were presented via video-conferencing for the court proceedings.

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