Gold smuggling: Film producer Sirajuddin held in Kochi

K P Sirajuddin. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Kochi: The Customs has arrested film producer K P Sirajuddin, accused in a case of smuggling gold by concealing it in a meat-slicing machine, via the Cochin international airport.

The machine was to be delivered to a company that is in the name of Shabin, the son of Thrikkakara municipality vice-chairman A A Ibrahimkutty. Sirajuddin has a lathe manufacturing factory in Dubai. The gold, to be smuggled into India, was concealed in the machine parts at this factory, according to officials.

Around 2.33kg of gold was concealed in the machine at Sirajuddin's lathe factory. Nakul, who turned up to collect the machine, was nabbed by the Customs. The statements of Nakul shed light on the involvement of Shabin and Sirajuddin. The court later granted bail to Shabin. But the probe team suspects that Ibrahimkutty was not aware of their smuggling activities.

The Customs officers received a tip-off just as the vehicle with the machine was leaving after checks at the airport. The officers intercepted the vehicle as it crossed the cargo gate and seized the machine.

A detailed inspection revealed the gold inside the machine. Two big gold biscuits, weighing 1kg each, and 2 small biscuits, weighing 116gm each, were recovered. The Customs will seek the custody of the accused, who has been remanded by the court, for questioning.

Helped set up a hideout for Vijay Babu?

An allegation was also raised that Sirajuddin had helped actor-producer Vijay Babu, accused of sexually assaulting a young actress, to go into hiding overseas. The police team, probing the assault case, would question Sirajuddin as they have reportedly found evidence on this.

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