The Preventive Unit of the Customs Department which is investigating the case related to smuggled gold seized from Thiruvananthapuram airport, has received names of more persons allegedly involved in the racket which was operating with the assistance of police officers in the Immigration Wing. The investigation team found that the racket was headed by Ismail, a Kozhikode native, who had successfully smuggled gold through Thiruvananthapuram Airport twice before he was caught by the Customs Department on the third occasion.
According to Customs officials, the consignment of gold was to be delivered to a person identified as Arif of Chokli. “The gold was smuggled through Thiruvananthapuram Airport with the assistance of police officers in the Immigration Department twice before he caught by Customs officials. A total of six kg gold was smuggled through the airport. Ismail, of Kozhikode, used to send the gold through different carriers. Carriers hand over the gold to a police official in the Immigration Department, which was then received by Rafeek, of Ambalathara in Thiruvananthapuram. He later handed over the gold to Abdul Kadhar of Kasargod. The gold was handed over to Arif, who would then sell it to jewellers in different parts of the state. Currently, Ismail, Abdul Kadhar and Arif, who are the key operators of the racket are underground. We would trace them at the earliest,” a Customs official said.
The Customs Department is currently interrogating a police official who was allegedly working for the smuggler in Thiruvananthapuram. Customs officials said that there are more police officials working at the Thiruvananthapuram Airport who could be involved in the case.
Meanwhile, Ernakulam Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) dismissed the bail petition of Rafeek, of Ambalathara in Thiruvananthapuram. K Biju, who appeared for P C Iype, Special Prosecutor, Customs Department, had strongly objected to granting of bail to the accused person. The court also heard from the prosecution and the defence counsel about the bail petition of Navas, the police officer who was arrested for allegedly assisting gold smugglers. The court will issue its order on the bail petition of Navas on Tuesday. Ernakulam District and Principal Sessions Court has sent a notice to Shamsudheen, who was arrested with 2.5 kg of gold sent by Ismail from Dubai.