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Friday, June 9, 2023

NIA files charge-sheet against 20 accused persons in Kerala Gold Smuggling Case

The NIA filed a charge-sheet against 20 accused including Swapna Suresh and PS Sarith yesterday in the NIA Special Court in connection with the Kerala Gold Smuggling case under sections 16, 17, 18, and 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

It must be mentioned here that the NIA had earlier raided residences of five of the accused in Mallapuram and Kozhikode districts in connection with this case.

The Kerala Gold Smuggling case, in which many influential people including the CM Pinarayi Vijayan, CMO officials, and several others were embroiled, is one of the high profile cases that exposed the nexus between politicians, Islamists, and the judiciary.

The NIA press release says:-

  1. NIA filed charge-sheet before Special Court on 05.01.2021 for NIA Cases, Ernakulam, Kerala against twenty (20) accused persons namely (1) Sarith P. S. resident of Thiruvananthapuram district; (2) Swapna Prabha Suresh resident of Thiruvananthapuram district; (3) Ramees K. T. resident of Malappuram district; (4) Jalal A. M. resident of Ernakulam district; (5) Mohammed Shafi P. resident of Malappuram district; (6) Saidalavi E. resident of Malappuram district; (7) Abdu P. T. resident Malappuram district; (8) Rabins Hameed resident of Ernakulam district; (9) Muhammedali Ebrahim resident of Ernakulam district, (10) Muhammedali resident of Ernakulam district; (11) Sharafuddeen K. T. resident of Malappuram district; (12) Mohammed Shafeeq A. resident of Malappuram district; (13) Hamzath Abdulsalam resident of Malappuram district; (14) Samju T. M. resident of Kozhikode district; (15) Hamjad Ali K. resident of Malappuram district; (16) Jifsal C. V. resident of Kozhikode district; (17) Aboobacker P. resident of Malappuram district; (18) Muhammed Abdu Shameem K. V. resident of Kozhikode district; (19) Abdul Hameed resident of Malappuram district and (20) Shamshudeen resident of Kozhikode district under sections 16, 17, 18 and 20 of UA (P) Act in Trivandrum Gold Smuggling Case.
  2. The case was registered by NIA on 10th July, 2020 against Sarith P. S. Swapna Prabha Suresh, Faisal Fareed, Sandeep Nair and others under sections 16, 17 and 18 of UA (P) Act consequent to the seizure of around 30 Kg of gold worth ₹ 14.82 crores on 5th July, 2020 at Trivandrum International Airport by Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Cochin, from the import cargo addressed to the Charge D’ Affaires at the Consulate General of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Thiruvananthapuram. Absconding accused Swapna Prabha Suresh and Sandeep Nair were arrested by NIA from Bengaluru on 11th July, 2020. During ensuing investigation, thirty-one more persons, who had conspired and financed gold smuggling besides facilitated the disposal of the contraband and transfer of proceeds thereof to the UAE through hawala channels, for purchasing and smuggling more gold, with the intention of threatening the economic security of India, were arraigned as accused in the case. Till now, twenty-one accused persons have been arrested in the case by NIA, while eight accused persons are absconding.
  3. The NIA investigation hitherto has revealed that the accused had knowingly conspired since June, 2019, raised funds and smuggled from UAE, between November, 2019 and June, 2020, around 167 Kgs of gold, through the import cargo addressed to diplomats at the Consulate General of UAE in Thiruvananthapuram. Significantly the main accused in this case had also planned to smuggle more gold from countries like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia
  4. Investigation continues against the absconding accused persons and others who had facilitated this crime.

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