The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probing the role of Customs officials in facilitating gold smuggling from Nedumbassery Airport interrogated C Madhavan, Deputy Commissioner of Customs and the first accused in the case on Monday. The officials of the Customs department also visited Ernakulam District Jail and took the statement of the accused.
According to CBI officials, C Madhavan was summoned to be present at CBI office in Kochi for the interrogation. Customs Assistant Commissioner Anil Kumar was also interrogated by the sleuths. The agency has not named him as an accused in the FIR. “The interrogation started in the morning and lasted till evening. He was asked about links with suspected kingpin Fayaz and number of times gold was smuggled through Nedumbassery Airport with his help. However, he refused to give any details on this. Madhavan said that he had spoken to Fayaz only on few occasions and have no connection with gold smuggler. He said that DRI additional director John Joseph introduced Fayaz to him while serving at Mangalore Airport. Later he was interrogated over the document seized from his residence. Others will be interrogated in coming days,” a CBI official said.
The CBI also filed search and seizure report before CBI special court in Kochi. The agency transferred to the court’s custody a laptop, diaries and documents recovered during raid at the residences of Madhavan and relatives of Fayaz. The CBI is likely to conduct raids in the residences of other customs officials who also are suspected to have received gifts from Fayaz.
Customs officials who are investigating the gold smuggling incident visited Ernakulam District jail and interrogated Fayaz, Harris, Asifa and Arifa. However, Harris did gave any details regarding others involved in the smuggling gang.
“He refused to cooperate. However, the statement of his wife Arifa, Asifa and Fayaz have been recorded. These reveal the involvement of Fayaz, his friend Ashraf and that of Abdulla, who is the husband of Asifa in the case,” an official said.