Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan has demanded a probe by National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the gold smuggling case alleging that efforts were going on to sabotage the case. He told a news conference here on Tuesday that as the accused in the gold smuggling case had links with the hawala money dealers and terrorists the case should be entrusted with the NIA. He also called for CBI investigation against the Customs officials who had played a major role in facilitating the gold smuggling. VS pointed out that as per the information available with the investigation agencies, within a period of two months 42 kg of gold worth `12 crore was smuggled through Nedumbassery airport alone.
The main accused in the case Harris is an active Popular Front worker and has links with extremist elements. Fayaz who was arrested in the case also had similar extremist connections. VS alleged that Fayaz and his accomplices had also good relations with family members of the Chief Minister, his former personal staff member Jikkumon and ‘R.K’ who is still retained as the Additional Private secretary of the Chief Minister, Union Minister E Ahmed, two Congress MPs, two Muslim League ministers, film personalities and other prominent people. VS alleged that all the Customs officials who had initiated steps against Fayaz have either been transferred or subjected to department-level action to sabotage the case.
Though three-high level Customs officials had been questioned, only a preventive officer was suspended.