Ramanattukara mishap: Customs special team to probe gold link

Five persons were killed in a car-lorry collision at Ramanattukara in Kozhikode in the wee hours of Monday.

Kannur: The Customs special preventive team which investigated the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case will examine the link of gold smuggling rackets with the accident that claimed the lives of five youths at Ramanattukara in Kozhikode district recently.

The special team includes officers attached to the Customs preventive headquarters and headed by Assistant Commissioner P G Lalu who had probed the gold and dollar smuggling cases.

The supervision of the Ramanattukara case will be carried out by Joint Commissioner M Vasanthagesan.

Initially, the special team would investigate the connection between the fatal accident and the seizure of 2.33 kg of gold from Muhammed Shafeek, a native of Moorkanad by the Air Customs at Kozhikode Airport.

Eight members of the gang from Cherpulassery in Palakkad district who were arrested by the police after the accident would be interrogated by the Customs team as part of the probe. It is reported that the Customs has already received information regarding the involvement of two of these youths in gold smuggling.

Investors under the lens

Apart from carriers of gold and their recruiting agents, the Customs team will also examine the role of investors in the smuggling racket. The team has learnt that some of these investors are hand-in-glove with gangs who rob smuggled gold from carriers. As smuggling one kg of gold would yield a profit of around Rs 5 lakh, several people are investing in the racket. Incidentally, many members of the same gang are often not known to each other.

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