The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has raided a flat, which a key accused in Karipur gold-smuggling case had rented, at Nettoor in Kochi.
DRI officials said the flat was taken on rent by Nabeel, who stayed there for some months.
Accused Nabeel along with Shabas and Abdul Layis had allegedly handed over gold to Rahila Cheerayi and Hiromasa V Sebastian, who were caught with the gold from Karipur Airport last week.
According to DRI officials, Nabeel had taken the flat in Alpha Apartments behind Le Meridian Hotel in Nettoor. The flat belongs to Nabeel’s friend and was bought last year. The DRI suspects that the women used for gold smuggling stayed at this flat when they came to Kochi.
Rahila and Hiromasa also had stayed at this flat. The DRI, after interrogating a youth who was staying at the flat, came to know that more women used to visit the flat. They suspect the other women were used for gold smuggling. DRI officials said the youth was staying here for script writing and he used to prepare food for Nabeel and the women when they came from Dubai. Besides, two people associated with the Malayalam film industry used to visit the flat frequently. “Nabeel had held a meeting with an assistant director and a senior film actor in the Malayalam film industry, who is also the member of a film association for a new film project. However, the film project could not be realised. Sometimes they visited the flat for meeting the women staying there. We will interrogate the people who visited the flat. The flat has been sealed and an American luxury bike has been seized,” DRI official said.
Meanwhile, the Ernakulam Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) dismissed the bail petition of Rahila and Hiromasa. “Counsel for the accused had submitted that this case is only evasion of duty and lenience should be given to the accused. But no lenience would be shown to the accused in the case. Apart from the loss to public exchequer, smuggling activities have socio-economic consequences on society. Considering the involvement of the accused in continuous smuggling of gold, they cannot be granted bail,” N V Raju, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, said.