Kochi (Kerala) [India], October 6 (ANI): In an important development, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday submitted before a special NIA court here that the main conspirators in the Kerala gold smuggling case -- Faisal Fareed and Rabins Hameed -- have been arrested in the UAE.
The NIA, in a counter-affidavit filed in the court opposing bail applications of the accused, also submitted that process has been started to issue Interpol Blue Corner notice against six fugitives involved in the high-profile Kerala gold smuggling case.
"During the preliminary visit of NIA team to Dubai, UAE from August 11 to 12, 2020, it has been conveyed by the UAE authorities that main conspirators -- third accused Faisal Fareed and tenth accused Rabins Hameed -- have been arrested there and that strict action would be taken all conspirators, as the accused in this case have attempted to damage the friendly relations between India and the UAE," the NIA said in the counter-affidavit.
Further, the NIA submitted that the UAE authorities have revealed that the crime was committed by the duo, pursuant to the conspiracy with other accused arrested in India and absconding in the UAE.
"They all had knowingly funded, facilitated and smuggled gold through diplomatic cargo of the UAE Consulate at Thiruvananthapuram by forging or deceitfully obtaining authorization certificates, from UAE diplomats," the counter-affidavit said.
The NIA told the court that based on the non-bailable warrant issued in the matter, the process has been initiated to get Interpol Blue Notices issued against the fugitives -- Faisal Fareed, Rabins Hameed, Siddiqui Akbar, Ahmed Kutty, Raju aka Ratheesh and Mohammed Shameer -- for securing their presence in India in this case.
"A major part of the transactions, especially funding through reverse hawala and purchase of smuggled gold, had occurred in the UAE. Based on the facts ascertained through investigation in India, evidence has to be collected, during further visits of NA investigators to the UAE, regarding the source of smuggled gold and the involvement of any other players, inimical to the economic security of India, in facilitating the crime from UAE," it added.
The agency also submitted that seventh accused Muhammad Shafi has stated that he had associated in smuggling of gold through diplomatic baggage of UAE Consulate Thiruvananthapuram about 20 times and arranged to send around 88.3 Kg of gold from UAE, out of which about 47.5 kg of gold was contributed by him and associates.
"He also disclosed about his associates in UAE who had contributed gold for smuggling through diplomatic baggage in pursuance of their conspiracy. He also facilitated the camouflaging and concealment of gold in the baggage at UAE to avoid detection by customs authorities," it said.
The bail application of the accused will now be considered by the special court tomorrow.
The Kerala gold smuggling case, which is being probed by the NIA along with the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and the Customs department, pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels. (ANI)