A gold smuggler, wanted by National Investigation Agency (NIA) in a case of smuggling of precious yellow metal, was deported by Saudi Arabia Thursday following Interpol issuing a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against the fugitive who is alleged to be part of a global syndicate.

The CBI, heading the India chapter of Interpol which is based in the national capital, coordinated with NIA and Riyadh for extradition of gold pusher Muhabbat Ali. “The Global Operations Centre of CBI via INTERPOL channels has coordinated the return of a Red Notice Subject in coordination with NIA and INTERPOL NCB-Riyadh. He was returned to India from Saudi Arabia” on Thursday, said CBI spokesperson in a statement to media on Thursday.

The Interpol issued a RCN against Ali on September 13, 2021, less than two years before he was caught and offloaded to Delhi on the charges being part of a international gold smuggling syndicate that was exposed after gold bars weighing 18.5 kg were confiscated at Jaipur international airport in 2020 from passengers coming from Saudi Arabia.

The NIA had registered a case invoking charges such as that of conspiracy for illegal smuggling of gold bars from Riyadh. Gulf countries have been traditional route of gold smuggling into India since its cheap there.

Others accused

Mohabbat Ali was chargesheeted by the NIA along with 17 others in the gold smuggling case. Other accused whose names figured in the charge-sheet filed before a special NIA court in Jaipur include Hetram, Sunil Verma, Rashid Qureshi, Surendra Kumar Darji, Mohammed Arif, Abdul Razzak, Shokat Ali, , Sameer Khan and Muniyad Ali Khan.

In between 2002 and 2015, 60 fugitives wanted in different criminal cases were either extradition or deported to face trial here.