Kerala gold smuggling case: NIA arrests accused in Thiruvananthapuram on arrival from Dubai
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested an accused in the case of smuggling of gold using diplomatic baggage on his arrival at the Thiruvananthapuram airport from Dubai, an official said on Wednesday.
Ratheesh, a resident of Kannur, was a fugitive member of the gang involved in smuggling of huge quantities of gold from various countries into India through diplomatic channels between 2019 and 2020, the agency said.
He was taken into custody on arrival from Dubai in the UAE on Tuesday, the NIA spokesperson said.
The NIA had launched a manhunt for six of the absconding gang members, including Ratheesh, and had filed charge sheets against 20 accused on January 5, 2021.
The NIA's investigation had revealed that Ratheesh, an associate of charge-sheeted accused Hamsath Abdu Salam, had collected the smuggled gold from Thiruvananthapuram and transported it for sale to one Nandakumar of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.
A consignment of gold, weighing 30 kg and worth Rs 14.82 crore, was seized on July 5, 2020, at the Thiruvananthapuram airport from a piece of baggage addressed to a senior diplomat stationed in the Kerala state capital.
Investigation in the case was underway, the agency said.
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