Kochi: The Customs suspects foul play behind the death of Ramees, a friend and close aide of Arjun Ayanki, an accused in the recent gold smuggling case reported from the Calicut International Airport.
Ramees, 24, died in the wee hours of Friday when his bike collided with a car near Kappakadavu in Azhikode, a coastal hamlet in Kannur district. According to police, he was returning from a relative's house after dropping his mother there. Ramees died at a private hospital in Kannur while undergoing treatment.
The ill-fated two-wheeler was reportedly owned by Ayanki.
The fact that he was given notice to appear before the investigation agency on Thursday raises suspicion about his death. Despite being served notice by the Customs, Ramees did not appear before the agency.
Earlier when Customs officials carried out a raid at Arjun's house in Kannur, they had also conducted a search at Rameez's place. During the search operation the Customs reportedly found some crucial documents from his house.
The Customs officials had given notice to question Ramees based on the information that it gathered from the documents seized from his house.
The investigation team found that Ramees was with Arjun when he came to snatch the smuggled gold at the airport. Therefore, the agency was expecting to get crucial information from Ramees in connection with the looting bid of gold smuggled through the airport.
Launching a probe, police said they do not suspect any mystery behind the accident leading to the death of Ramees. Police said those who were travelling in the car have been identified.
The accident occurred as they were returning from a hospital after consulting a doctor, police said.
The Customs officials are monitoring the police investigation closely as it suspects foul play behind the fatal accident.
Ayanki was a CPM supporter and party's 'Red Volunteer' captain in Kannur, and with his huge following in social media, was a 'Facebook warrior', attacking political opponents on social media.
However, the party leadership, both at Kannur and the state level, have washed their hands off him after the gold smuggling incidents came to light.
The gold smuggling case surfaced last month after an accident at Ramanattukara in Kozhikode. Five people had lost their lives during a chase between two gold smuggling gangs.
(With PTI and IANS inputs)