Kerala gold smuggling case: NIA searches five locations in Malappuram, Kozhikode districts

Officials said in a statement that the searches were conducted at the residences of five accused

Sleuths of the National Investigation Agency ( NIA) on Friday carried out searches in five locations in Malappuram and Kozhikode districts in connection with the case of smuggling of gold through UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.

Officials said in a statement that the searches were conducted at the residences of five accused, namely Mohammed Aslam, Abdul Latheef, Nazarudheen Sha, P. Ramzan and Muhammed Mansoor. The suspects had conspired with the already arrested key accused – Swapna Suresh, Fazil Fareed, and Sandeep Nair – and facilitated them to smuggle gold through import cargo addressed to be UAE Consulate and its further disposal.

The case pertained to the seizure of 30 kgs of gold worth Rs 14.82 crore on 5 July. So far, 21 persons have been arrested in the case

A team of officers recovered several electronic items and documents during the searches. Further investigations are on, the statement said.

Previously the NIA had conducted searches at the houses of C. Jifsal, P. Aboobacker, Muhammed Abdu Shameem, Abdul Hameed, all hailing from Kozhikode- Malappuram districts, and arrested them in the case. Searches had been carried out on the Malabar Jewellery and Ameen Gold in Malappuram and Ambi Jewellery in Kozhikode. Several digital devices and incriminating documents had also been seized, officials said.

The NIA had registered a case under sections 16, 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in July. It took up the case as it had national and international linkages. Initial enquiries had revealed that the proceeds of smuggled gold could be used for financing of terrorism in India, it said.

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