Gold smuggling case: Rameez, a suspected link in racket, nabbed

A customs special investigation team on Sunday nabbed a Malappuram native in connection with the gold smuggling case.

Published: 13th July 2020 04:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th July 2020 04:32 AM   |  A+A-

arrest, handcuffs, crime

For representational purposes (Express Illustrations | Amit Bandre)

By Express News Service

MALAPPURAM: A customs special investigation team on Sunday nabbed a Malappuram native in connection with the gold smuggling case. K T Rameez, suspected to be a key link in the smuggling racket in Kerala, was taken into custody from his residence at Vettathoor near Perinthalmanna in the early hours of the day. He was later taken to the customs commissioner’s office in Kochi, a source said.

Customs officers believe Rameez can provide details of investors in the gold smuggling racket, people coordinating the smuggling, and the involvement of Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair. Rameez is suspected to be an investor and a distributor of smuggled gold in the state.

According to the customs, he has a criminal background and was earlier booked for smuggling gold and hunting deer. Another case was registered against him after he tried to bring six rifles to Kerala through the Kochi airport. Though he tried to convince the customs that these rifles were brought for the Rifle Association Palakkad, an investigation into the case by the customs revealed that the association had nothing to do with the rifles.

Though Rameez is not an active political worker, his family members have connections with the IUML. DYFI members in Malappuram alleged that Rameez is a close relative of Malappuram MP and IUML national general secretary P K Kunhalikutty. “Rameez is a close relative of Kunhalikutty. NIA should continue with the probe so that more people involved in the case can be arrested,” said Shyam Prasad, DYFI Malappuram district president.

However, the personal staff of the Malappuram MP refuted the allegations. “Rameez is a close relative of former education minister, the late Chakkeeri Ahamed Kutty. He is not a close relative of Kunhalikutty. News reports connecting Rameez and Kunhalikutty are fake,” said Kunhalikutty’s personal assistant.

A shady past

Palakkad: Rameez had dabbled in illegal activities, including poaching and hawala transactions, in the past. A case of poaching had been registered against him by the Walayar range of the forest department in August 2014. While the other accused in the case who were locals were arrested, the main culprit Rameez continued to remain at large. The other accused have deposed that it was Ramees who provided vehicles and directed them to hunt in the forests of Kongattupodam which lies adjacent to the Kanjikode-Malampuzha Road. The group had hunted down a deer in the case, said K P Jiljith, range officer, Walayar, told TNIIE. According to Jiljith, the case has not been closed. Before leaving for Bengaluru from their hideout in Kochi, Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair had reportedly met Ramees in Perinthalmanna.



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