Kerala gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh (L) and Sandeep Nair (R) detained by National Investigation Agency from Bengaluru on Saturday.
Kerala gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh (L) and Sandeep Nair (R) detained by National Investigation Agency from Bengaluru on Saturday.
ANI

Thiruvananthapuram

The NIA has moved in lightning speed in laying hands on suspected terror links in the case involving gold smuggling through diplomatic channel. In normal circumstances, NIA keeps the suspects under observation for a certain period to gather maximum information before effecting the arrests. But in the the sensational gold smuggling, it has already arrested the main accused within 24 hours and reached out to the next level in the racket.

The premier probe agency has concluded the smuggled gold in the instant case was meant to be used for terror related activities. It has gathered significant details of the operations at the first level, involving Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair.

A breakthrough arrest on Monday was of Malappuram-based Ramees, who probably belongs to the next level of the operation. He is believed to be the middle link in organising finances for the gold smuggling and NIA is confident it is within reach of the ultimate destination.

The investigators are learnt to have collected crucial evidence about the forgery of documents, which were used by Swapna and Sandeep to execute their clandestine operation. It has now emerged the official seal of the UAE government and the sticker indicating the nature of the cargo as diplomatic were forged by Dubai-based businessman Faisal Fareed, against whom the investigators have secured a nonbailable arrest warrant.

The forgery was done in a sophisticated manner to dodge the TMS scanner at Thiruvananthapuram airport, used to identify fraud.

Meanwhile, the noose seems to be tightening on CM’s principal secretary M Sivasankaran as details of over a dozen phone calls made by Swapna’s co-suspect Sarith to him during the time leading up to the incident.

A Customs team visited Sivasankaran’s home on Tuesday and is believed to have served him notice to be present before them for answering questions. A minister in Vijayan’s cabinet is in the dock for phone calls to him by Swapna. Higher education minister KT Jaleel says he called the suspect as advised by the UAE counsel general in the distribution of food packets during Ramzan.

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