100 kg of gold smuggled into Kerala each month

In a dossier to NIA, state Spl Branch says gold mostly brought from W Asia | Fraction of booty suspected to be used to destabilise economy, fund terror activities

Published: 15th July 2020 06:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th July 2020 06:46 AM   |  A+A-

Customs officers leaving the house of bureaucrat M Sivasankar at Poojapura in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday after serving him a notice to appear for questioning | Vincent Pulickal

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As much as 100kg of gold was being smuggled into the state from abroad every month, and a portion of this could have been used for economic terrorism and funding extremist activities, as per the recent dossier submitted by the State Special Branch to the NIA. The dossier was submitted to the NIA team which is currently investigating the gold smuggling case.

Sources said the dossier, submitted in digitised form, is a corroboration of the inputs the intelligence wing collected over a period of time. The report has mentioned the arrival of at least 100kg of gold each month from abroad —mostly West Asian countries — through airports in Kerala, sources said. The smuggling is being carried out by rackets having roots across the state.

While jewellers are one of the beneficiaries of illegal gold import, a fraction of the booty is suspected to be used to destabilise the economy and fund extremist activities, the report said. Sources said the dossier said that of the gold smuggling rackets operating in the state, a Koduvally-based team’s dealings had evoked more suspicion.

“There is a lack of clarity regarding what is being done with a part of the gold the Koduvally gang smuggles in,” sources said. “Their operations have been listed as very suspicious as it is being doubted if their consignments were intended for more serious purposes, such as financing anti-national activities,” sources said. The report also said women and children were being regularly used to smuggle gold into the state. The Police Headquarters refused to confirm or deny if the state intelligence had submitted such a report to the NIA.

BJP to launch a series of Agitation
The BJP will step up its agitation in connection with the gold smuggling case till Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan resigns and faces inquiry. Announcing a series of agitation from July 16 to July 23, BJP state general secretary P Sudheer said the LDF Government was trying to shield gold smuggling accused and those who protected them.  On July 16 and 17, the party will conduct ‘satyagraha’ at all district centres. This will be followed by a one-day ‘satyagraha’ by NDA leaders on July 22. On July 23, 24 and 25, one-day ‘satyagraha’ will be held in all legislative assembly constituencies. On July 27, the party will launch an agitation in 15,000 centres across the state, adhering to Covid protocol. Besides, various frontal organisations of the party will launch statewide agitations from July 18 to 23.


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