KOCHI: The Customs Commissionerate (Preventive) is set to initiate steps to extradite from the UAE a film producer suspected to be the kingpin of a gold smuggling gang. K P Sirajuddin, who produced the films ‘Vaanku’ and ‘Charminar’, is wanted in connection with the case relating to the seizure of 2.23kg of gold from a meat-cutting machine at the Kochi airport.
The customs will file a petition at the Additional Chief Judicial First Class Magistrate (Economic Offences) Court, seeking an arrest warrant against Sirajuddin, an officer said. A lookout circular, too,will be issued, the officer added.
“We suspect that Sirajuddin has a visiting visa, and he has to return to Kerala in a few months. His passport details have been passed on to the Bureau of Immigration to intercept him when he arrives at airports across the country. He is the mastermind behind the smuggling of gold in kitchen equipment,” the officer said.
The customs investigation revealed that Sirajuddin arranged for investors to procure gold from Dubai, with the money transferred through hawala channels. Later, he would smuggle the gold to Kerala. “He has smuggled gold several times. He was a frequent flyer. Details of his business activities are being checked. We suspect that money from illegal activities was used to produce films,” the officer said.
The central agency will also record the arrest of two men who, along with Thrikkakara Municipal Vice-Chairman A A Ibrahimkutty’s son Shabin, invested money to procure gold. Afsal, of Muppathadam, and Sudheer, of Palachuvadu, had jointly invested `35 lakh while Shabin pumped in `65 lakh. They were interrogated on Friday. The customs let off Shabin’s business partner, P A Sirajuddin, after interrogation.
“Shabin claimed it was his first investment in gold smuggling. He has given information about other investors. We have sent notices to more persons for interrogation,” the source said. It was on April 23 that 2.23kg of gold concealed in a meat-cutting machine was seized from the air cargo complex of the Kochi airport, with Kakkanad resident Nakul being the first to be arrested.
Shabin is a Youth League supporter, says DYFI
Kochi: The DYFI and UDF have come out with contradictory statements regarding the political affiliation of Shabin, son of Thrikkakara municipality vice-chairman A A Ibrahimkutty, who is involved in a gold smuggling case. Congress and Muslim League leaders had claimed Shabin was a DYFI activist. The DYFI on Friday claimed Shabin was a Youth League supporter, pointing to his social media accounts.