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Kerala gold smuggling case: Customs to probe phone calls made to UAE

V Sajeev Kumar/Vinson Kurian Kochi/Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on July 19, 2020

So far, over 13 people have been arrested in the case

 

Investigation into the airport gold smuggling case has entered a crucial phase with the Customs gearing up to interrogate ‘all those involved’ even as statements given by the accused, Swapna Suresh and Sarith Nair, reportedly established links with M Sivasankar, ousted Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister.

No direct link established

The Customs have decided to examine all phone calls made by the accused, including Sivasankar, to destinations in West Asia, including the UAE, to gather more evidence in the sensational case. Currently, there is no evidence indicating the direct involvement of Sivasankar.

So far, 13 persons connected with the case have been arrested. These include the suspected mastermind, brokers, financiers, and beneficiary jewelers in Malappuram and Kozhikode.

 

NIA drives down to capital

The External Affairs Ministry is seeking information from the employees of Emirates Airlines over the seized diplomatic baggage containing contraband gold. The Customs needs to take statements of all connected people to get further evidence or close the matter, informed sources said.

 

They recalled it had moved in a similar manner in 2000 and targeted a foreign airliner involved in smuggling and had imposed a fine for abetment. Meanwhile, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is conducting a parallel into the airport gold smuggling case, drove down to Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday in a motorcade with Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, another accused.

The NIA sleuths took them to several premises, including a highrise close to the Government Secretariat where Sivasankar, former top aide of the Chief Minister, had rented a flat. The NIA’s presence here triggered speculations that he would be interrogated as part of the probe, as well.

Published on July 19, 2020

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