The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has found links between the infamous Kerala gold smuggling case and terrorist Dawood Ibrahim's D Company.
Presenting its arguments in a special court in Kochi, the agency, which is probing the case, said the accused in the matter have visited Tanzania multiple times, a country where the underworld don has a wide deep network, News18 reported.
"During the custodial interrogation of Ramees (Accused 5), he revealed that he had attempted to start diamond business in Tanzania. He had tried to obtain gold mining license in Tanzania. The accused also stated that he bought gold from Tanzania and sold them in UAE," the NIA said.
"K T Ramees and M Sharafuddin (Accused 13) visited Tanzania on several occasions and met one of Dawood's close aide Feroze 'Oasis' and discussed ways to smuggle firearms into the country," an NIA official related to the probe told new agency IANS.
Ramees was caught with 13 smuggled revolvers at the Kozhikode airport in November 2019 while returning from Dubai, he added.
Ramees had brought the guns for the Palakkad rifle club, it was alleged, however, the charge was denied by the rifle club.
Another NIA official said that they are checking all the details of Ramees, as he has been linked to gold smuggling as well as firearms smuggling.
The gold smuggling case first surfaced when P S Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, was arrested by the Customs Department on 5 July when he was allegedly facilitating the smuggling of 30 kg gold in a diplomatic baggage from Dubai to Thiruvananthapuram.
The case became murkier when Swapna Suresh, a former employee of the UAE Consulate and later employed with the Kerala IT Department, came to light. Her links stretched to the Chief Minister as she had links to M Sivasankar, Kerala's senior IAS official and secretary to Pinarayi Vijayan. She later revealed that Sivasankar was her mentor.
After his links with Swapna surfaced, Vijayan first removed Sivasankar from the post of his secretary and also the State IT secretary and later suspended him from service.
While Suresh and her accomplice Sandip Nair, were arrested from their hideout in Bengaluru five days later. A multi-agency team started probing the case and 30 people have been arrested so far.
Besides the NIA, ED, DRI, Customs and Income Tax are also part of the investigation. The ED has questioned Kerala Higher Education Minister K T Jaleel in connection with alleged import of holy books and dry dates.
(With inputs from IANS)
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