Two Customs officials, including a Deputy Commissioner, were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for assisting gold smugglers to bring in gold from Nedumbassery airport on Wednesday.
The arrested officials were C Madhavan, Customs Deputy Commissioner, and Sunil Kumar, Customs Preventive Officer of Nedumbassery airport. The CBI arrested these persons when they were present at the CBI office in Kochi for interrogation.
According to the CBI, these officials were not cooperating with investigation.
The CBI would interrogate Madhavan and Sunil in the presence of Fayaz, the suspected kingpin of the gold-smuggling racket.
“Even though we had interrogated them on several occasions, they did not cooperate with us. During the interrogation of Fayaz, we received more information about their involvement. The custody of these officials was required to get more details on the basis of revelations by Fayaz. They refused to reveal anything. They would be produced before the court on Thursday morning,” a CBI official said.
The official said Madhavan maintained close connection with Fayaz, who was arrested by the Customs for smuggling 36 kg of gold through Nedumbassery airport. Madhavan and Sunil had allegedly received gifts and remuneration from Fayaz. The CBI had seized an LED TV from the residence of Madhavan and a mobile phone from the residence of Sunil Kumar, which had been allegedly gifted to them by Fayaz, for their assistance in smuggling in the gold through the airport.
According to the CBI, Fayaz had smuggled in gold from Nedumbassery, Karipur and Mangalore airports several times using his connections with Madhavan and Sunil. “In the next phase of investigation, more officials having links with smugglers would be included in the case,” the CBI official said.
Meanwhile, the CBI Special Court extended CBI custody of Fayaz till Thursday evening. The six-day custody of Fayaz, Harris, Arifa and Asifa came to an end on Wednesday.
Arifa and Asifa were sent back to judicial custody on Saturday. When Fayaz and Harris were produced before the court, the CBI sought custody of Fayaz for one more day. Harris was remanded in judicial custody.
Last month, Customs officials had arrested Harris, Arifa and Asifa from Nedumbassery airport for smuggling in 20 kg of gold.
During investigation, it was revealed that Fayaz was the kingpin behind the smuggling incident. Following the arrest of Fayaz, he revealed the involvement of Customs officials on the basis of which the CBI registered a case against Madhavan, Sunil, Ajay Kumar Soni and four others.