Kerala gold smuggling case: NIA detains 2 key accused in Bengaluru
Kochi : The National Investigation Agency on Saturday detained two key accused in the smuggling of 30 kgs gold through diplomatic channel in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram.
Identified as Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, the two were on the run and their baggage was in the name of the UAE consulate. Another accused Sarith has already been arrested by the Customs (Preventive) Department.
The NIA has registered an FIR against them under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and said it is investigating the case from an angle of international links. In the preliminary investigations, the NIA has learned that the smuggled gold may have been used for financing terrorism in India.
Opposition leader in Kerala Ramesh Chennithala has alleged that the accused was helped by the state police. "How can Swapna Suresh reach Bengaluru when there is a triple lockdown under way in Thiruvananthapuram city? It is evident that the police helped her," Mr Chennithala alleged.
BJP state President K Surendran has raised a similar allegation. He tweeted:
Rs 15 crore worth Gold was seized by the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Kochi. Now, the NIA is conducting surprise raids at the houses of people related to the case.