Kozhikode: A horrific accident in this north Kerala district has blew the lid off a gold smuggling bid and the involvement of mafia. The police now suspect the involvement of a third gang in the smuggling bid that came to light with the SUV-lorry collision at Ramanattukara which claimed the lives of five people suspected to be a part of the racket.
The accused have given statements that a gang from Kannur was also after the gold, apart from the Koduvally and Cherpulassery gangs, according to the police.
The five people who were killed in the accident at Ramanattukara in Kozhikode in the wee hours of Monday hailed from Cherpulassery.
The Cherpulassery gang was following the gang led by Kannur native Arjun till Ramanattukara. The police said that the 15-member Cherpulassery gang had arrived to provide protection to the Koduvally gang. The police had on Monday said that the Cherpulassery gang had come to steal the gold meant for the Koduvally gang. However, the gold was seized by the Customs Air Intelligence before it could be smuggled out.
Customs, Police foil gangsters' plan
The Customs had found that the carrier himself had leaked the information to the Kannur gang about gold being brought from Dubai for the Koduvally smuggling gang. The role of the Kannur gang came to light when the police questioned the robbery gang again.
The Air Intelligence had nabbed Moorkanad native Mohammed Shafeeq on Monday while he tried to smuggle 2.33kg of gold via the Kozhikode airport.
The Cherpulassery gang got a tip-off that another gang was waiting near the airport to steal the gold. The car of the Kannur gang was also under its watch.
The Kannur gang first came to know that Shafeeq, who landed at the airport with the gold, had been caught. With this, they decided to return.
The Cherpulassery gang noticed the Kannur gang's car leaving the airport soon after the passengers of the Dubai flight stepped out and they suspected that the gold was with them. They then followed the Kannur car in three vehicles, as per the statements of the arrested.
The Cherpulassery gang came to know that the gold had been seized at the airport, only when they reached Ramanattukara. While they were returning, the car at the front met with the accident.
The accident happened at Pulinjode near Ramanattukara around 4:30am on Monday. All the five people in the car died on the spot.
The police had nabbed eight of the gang members on Monday itself. They have been remanded by the court. One vehicle and two others are yet to be nabbed. A special team led by Kondotty Deputy Superintendent of Police K Ashraf has been formed.