Updated: August 2, 2020 7:21:08 pm
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested six more people in the Kerala gold smuggling case, an official said on Sunday.
The agency Sunday raised six places, including homes of the arrested accused, and seized hard disks, a computer, eight mobile phones, six SIM cards and various bank documents, an NIA official told news agency PTI.
With the latest arrests, 10 people have been apprehended in connection with the case, where gold was smuggled through diplomatic baggage addressed to the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.
On July 30, two men – Jalal A M of Ernakulam and Said Alavi E of Malappuram – were arrested for conspiring with another arrested accused Ramees K T, the NIA spokesperson said. On July 31, two more accused, Mohammed Shafi P and Abdu P T, both residents of Malappuram, were arrested.
On August 1, the NIA arrested two people – Ernakulam-residents Muhammad Ali Ebrahim and Muhammad Ali – after investigation revealed that they were part of the conspiracy, besides aiding and assisting Jalal A M in collecting the smuggled gold from Ramees K T in Thiruvananthapuram and distributing the contraband among other conspirators, the NIA official said.
Muhammad Ali is a member of the Popular Front of India and was earlier charge-sheeted by the Kerala Police in the case of a professor’s palm being chopped off in 2010. He was acquitted in 2015.
The NIA took over the probe into the case on July 10. Customs had seized over 30 kg gold, worth around Rs 15 crore, at the Thiruvananthapuram airport on July 5.
The case had touched the office of the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, after his Principal Secretary and the state IT Secretary, IAS officer M Sivasankar, was found to have links with a key accused, Swapna Suresh.
Sivasankar was questioned for nine hours by the NIA on Monday.
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