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NIA team in Dubai to question accused in Kerala gold smuggling case

NIA team in Dubai to question accused in Kerala gold smuggling case
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A National Investigation Team (NIA) landed in the United Arab Emirates last night in connection with the Kerala diplomatic gold smuggling case.

The NIA is likely to interrogate one of the key accused Faisal Fareed and a couple of more people who have been taken into custody by the Dubai authorities, said officials familiar with developments. It will also seek details of companies/hawala operators who were allegedly involved in routing the smuggled money, they added.

The agency is probing the terror angle in smuggling of gold in Kerala and Faisal Fareed in Dubai is suspected to have played a key role in the whole racket, the officials said.

The premier agency has arrested 10 people in the case so far.

Kerala gold smuggling drama unfolded after the customs seized 30 kilograms of gold from an air cargo consignment from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the country's consular office in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5.

Swapna Suresh, considered the main accused, was working as a consultant with the state IT department at the time. Her bail plea was rejected by the NIA special court in Kochi. The court also said that anti -terror law, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), will apply in her case.

As the scandal broke, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan's powerful secretary Sivasankar, a senior IAS officer, was removed from his post after reports surfaced that he was allegedly close to Suresh.

Updated : 2020-08-25T21:05:26+05:30
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