Kerala gold-smuggling case: NIA files chargesheet against 20 accused

KOCHI: The NIA filed a chargesheet against 20 people before a special court here on Tuesday for their alleged involvement in smuggling 30 kg of gold worth Rs 14.82 crore in a diplomatic baggage into Kerala, an official said.

The accused, including Sarith P S and Swapna Prabha Suresh, have been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

So far, 21 accused have been arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the case, while eight are absconding.

The case pertains to the seizure of 30 kg of gold worth Rs 14.82 crore on July 5 last year from a diplomatic baggage at the air cargo of the Trivandrum International Airport by the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Cochin.

The NIA investigation revealed that the accused had knowingly conspired since June 2019, raised funds and smuggled around 167 kg of gold into the country from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) between November 2019 and June 2020 through the import cargo addressed to diplomats at the Consulate General of the UAE in Thiruvananthapuram.

The main accused in the case had planned to smuggle more gold from countries such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.

The probe against the absconding accused and others who had facilitated them is on, the NIA said.

The consignment was found camouflaged in a diplomatic baggage from the UAE that is exempted from inspection in accordance with the Vienna Convention.

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Kerala gold smuggling case: NIA searches five locations in Malappuram, Kozhikode districts

Officials said in a statement that the searches were conducted at the residences of five accused

Sleuths of the National Investigation Agency ( NIA) on Friday carried out searches in five locations in Malappuram and Kozhikode districts in connection with the case of smuggling of gold through UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.


Officials said in a statement that the searches were conducted at the residences of five accused, namely Mohammed Aslam, Abdul Latheef, Nazarudheen Sha, P. Ramzan and Muhammed Mansoor. The suspects had conspired with the already arrested key accused – Swapna Suresh, Fazil Fareed, and Sandeep Nair – and facilitated them to smuggle gold through import cargo addressed to be UAE Consulate and its further disposal.

The case pertained to the seizure of 30 kgs of gold worth Rs 14.82 crore on 5 July. So far, 21 persons have been arrested in the case

A team of officers recovered several electronic items and documents during the searches. Further investigations are on, the statement said.

Previously the NIA had conducted searches at the houses of C. Jifsal, P. Aboobacker, Muhammed Abdu Shameem, Abdul Hameed, all hailing from Kozhikode- Malappuram districts, and arrested them in the case. Searches had been carried out on the Malabar Jewellery and Ameen Gold in Malappuram and Ambi Jewellery in Kozhikode. Several digital devices and incriminating documents had also been seized, officials said.

The NIA had registered a case under sections 16, 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in July. It took up the case as it had national and international linkages. Initial enquiries had revealed that the proceeds of smuggled gold could be used for financing of terrorism in India, it said.

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NIA raids multiple locations in Kashmir, including ‘Greater Kashmir’ office

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday carried out multiple raids in Kashmir, including the main office of widely circulated daily Greater Kashmir and the house of human rights activist Khurram Parvez.

An official said raids were conducted at 10 locations, including nine in Srinagar and one in Bandipora.

An official said besides the newspaper office and the house of the activist, the NIA teams also visited the offices of two NGOs in Hyderpora and Nawakadal, the house of a journalist, a houseboat owner and a Hurriyat activist.

Sources identified the Hurriyat activist as Muhammad Yousuf Sofi, a resident of Bandipora’s Brar village.

“The raids are on,” the official said.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and ex-Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned the raids. “The NIA raids on human rights activist Parvez and the Greater Kashmir office in Srinagar is yet another example of the Government of India’s vicious crackdown on freedom of expression and dissent. Sadly, the NIA has become BJP’s pet agency to intimidate and browbeat those who refuse to fall in line,” Ms. Mufti tweeted.

Kashmir Times editor Anuradha Bhasin said the raids on the Greater Kashmir office and Mr. Parvez’s house “are attempts to impose silence even on our whispers”. “This comes a day after the disempowering land laws. Can this be just a coincidence?” she tweeted.

The NIA has been investigating terror funding in J&K for the past several years and has arrested a number of Hurriyat leaders.

A NIA spokesman said  those whose premises have been searched include residence and office of Khurram Parvez (co-ordinator of J&K Coalition of Civil Society), his associates Parvez Ahmad Bukhari, Parvez Ahmad Matta and Bengaluru-based associate Swati Sheshadri; Ms. Parveena Ahanger, Chairperson of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons ( APDPK) and offices of NGO Athrout and Greater Kashmir Trust.

“Several incriminating documents and electronic devices have been seized. Further investigation in the case is continued,” the NIA said

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Davinder Singh: Pakistani officials were using suspended J&K cop to obtain sensitive info: NIA | India News

NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency on Monday filed a chargesheet against six people, including suspended Deputy Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police Davender Singh, for alleged terror activities in the country, officials said.
The agency said that Singh was in touch with certain officials of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi through secure social media platforms. The NIA chargesheet said that Singh was being groomed by the Pakistani officials for the purpose of obtaining sensitive information.
Besides Singh, the chargesheet also names banned Hizbul Mujahideen commander Syed Naveed Mushtaq alias Naveed Babu as well as the group’s alleged overground worker Irfan Shafi Mir and its member Rafi Ahmad Rather. The other two named are Tanveer Ahmad Wani, a trader, and Naveed Babu’s brother Syed Irfan Ahmad, officials said.

In the chargesheet, the NIA said that Pakistan High Commission officials were in constant touch with Irfan Shafi Mir, who claims to be an advocate, and provided him funds to organize anti-national seminars in Jammu & Kashmir.
“Mir also used to receive instructions and money from Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi and also facilitated the visa applications for number of Kashmiris for their visit to Pakistan,” the chargesheet said.
As per chargesheet, the accused were part of a conspiracy hatched by Hizbul Mujahideen and Pakistani state agencies to commit violent acts against India.
The NIA had taken over the terror case on January 18, a week after Singh was caught in south Kashmir while ferrying two terrorists out of the valley on January 11.

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