KOCHI: The CBI on Tuesday arrested a key accused in the gold smuggling case involving two women from Nedumbassery airport in 2013. The arrested is Kallingal Ashraf, 42, a native of Peringathur, now residing at Thalassery and 15th accused in the case. He was detained by the Immigration officials around 3 am following a tip-off from the Interpol about his arrival on a flight from Dubai to Nedumbassery. Later, he was handed over to the CBI team from Kochi.
According to CBI officials, the arrest of Ashraf would reveal the details about the operations of the gang smuggling gold from Dubai. “Ashraf was the kingpin of the racket who invested money in buying and smuggling gold from Dubai to gold jewellers in Kerala. The gold smuggling was carried out with the help of Faiz, a native of Mahi. The money for purchasing the gold was of Ashraf. He was also doing retail and restaurant business in Dubai,” a CBI official said.
After registering the case in 2013, the CBI had issued a lookout notice against the accused. The information against him was passed on to the Interpol. Ashraf was produced before the CBI court which remanded him in judicial custody till November 27. The CBI has also filed a petition seeking his custody for three days as part of the investigation. The court will give the order on the petition on Wednesday. The CBI with the assistance of Interpol had arrested the 10th accused, identified as Mohammed Marshi Bin Majeed alias Marshi, 29 a native of Kannur from New Delhi airport on November 2. Marshi was the person who accompanied Asifa, the woman who carried 2 kg of gold from Dubai to Kochi in August 2013. He allegedly monitored the gold carriers appointed by the racket and arranged facilities for them inside and outside the airport. He was arrested while arriving at New Delhi airport from Abu Dhabi.