Kochi: Black money of certain prominent political leaders in the state was smuggled abroad via three top officials of the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, according to the Customs. This and other hints on crucial information were received from Swapna Suresh's statements.
Former Consul General Jamal Al Zaabi, former admin Attache Rashid Khamis Ali Musaiqri Al Sheimeili and finance section former head Khalid Ali Shoukri had converted large sums of Indian rupee to Dollars and smuggled abroad, and that this money belonged to certain prominent political leaders, as per the statements of Swapna and Sarith.
The Customs has reportedly received information on whose money was smuggled thus.
Certain political leaders, who frequently visited the UAE from Kerala, are under the scanner. It is suspected that a former official of the Consulate smuggled the Dollars to be invested in the UAE by them.
The Consul General and other officials smuggled gold into Kerala, as per the statements. ‘Consul eating mangoes’ was the code word for such deals.
Even before Sandeep and Ramees plotted to smuggle gold via the diplomatic channel, the Consulate officials had started gold smuggling, as per the findings.
The Customs had also found out that Jamal Al Zaabi and Khalid Ali Shoukri had earlier worked together in Vietnam and were involved in a gold smuggling case.
It was also found that several unlawful activities, centred around the UAE Consulate, were carried out in complicity with the certain higher-ups in the state government.
Three foreign women, who travelled with diplomatic immunity, had visited the Consul General's house in Thiruvananthapuram. They had received the diplomatic immunity in violation of the norms.
NIA court accepts Customs' plea
The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court has accepted the Customs' plea, seeking a copy of the confidential statements of gold smuggling case accused Sandeep Nair.
The NIA had first objected to giving the copy of the statements as the case investigation was progressing. Sandeep Nair, who has been slapped with the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), is likely to turn approver in the NIA case. The COFEPOSA (Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act) has also been invoked against him, and he is under preventive detention in the Customs’ case. Sandeep Nair had allegedly introduced K T Ramees to P S Sarith and Swapna Suresh, connived to smuggle gold via the diplomatic parcel and took commission for it.