KOCHI: The infamous ‘Kasargod Gang’ has waned but new groups have sprung up from Kasargod, Kannur, Kozhikode and Malappuram smuggling in huge quantity of gold in the last few years. To check the rising activities of these groups from North Kerala districts especially Kasargod and Kannur, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has strengthened its operations by establishing a full-fledged regional unit in Kannur.
According to DRI officers, the new office has been established taking into account the upcoming commissioning of International Airport at Kannur and for expanding the DRI’s anti-smuggling operations in the region. The new unit was inaugurated by Additional Director General Surjit Bhujabal.
The operation of the new unit will enable the agency to keep a tab on the activities of the suspects belonging to the region.
“More from Kannur are getting into smuggling activities. Our presence in the region will enable us to heighten the surveillance,” the officers said. In the last two years, nearly 70 per cent of the people nabbed for smuggled hailed from Kannur and Kasargod districts. A rough analysis done by the agency shows that Koduvally in Kozhikode had the highest number of smugglers followed by Kasargod and Kannur.
Official sources confirmed the number of Kasargod and Kannur natives getting picked up for gold smuggling had increased in the last one year. “We are keeping a tab on frequent fliers from this region to middle east nations.
Our special operations have been yielding results and in fact led to the recent arrest of two Kasargod natives - Arafath P F of Parayangana and Noushad Abdulla of Rehmaniya Nagar - who were wanted in connection with running a gold smuggling racket,” a senior officer said.Already, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is conducting a detailed probe into the activities of gold smugglers from North Kerala after arresting a key member of the gold smuggling racket run by Fayaz, a native of Mahe.