KOCHI: KT Rameez of Malappuram, the mastermind behind the gold smuggling case, is a well-known name in smuggling circles for two reasons.First, for the tricks he uses for smuggling and second, for his love for fancy number 700. “He is a fan of the number. The registration numbers of some of his vehicles end in 700, as do his mobile phone numbers. If 700 is not available, he prefers 007 (the number associated with fictional British agent James Bond) instead for his cars. The number of the vehicle used by his gang to hunt deer at Walayar also ended in 700. He mostly stays in Dubai,” said a forest officer who probed a wildlife case registered against him in Palakkad in 2014.
One could get an idea about the tricks Rameez used to beat agencies to bring gold from abroad from the fact that, according to Customs officers, he was the brain behind using diplomatic channel for gold smuggling. “He knows financiers and buyers through which gold can be smuggled. He is a key agent for smugglers in Kerala and the UAE,” an officer said.
Rameez was involved in two smuggling cases detected by DRI and Customs. The smuggling of over 15kg of gold through cargo was detected by DRI at Kozhikode airport in 2014. The Customs investigated a case related to an attempt to smuggle six rifles claiming to be directed to a rifle club in Palakkad.Meanwhile,Forest officers claimed that Rameez acted as an agent for procuring and selling wildlife products including meat of wild animals and skin and horn of deer.
“He is the fifth accused in the wildlife case registered in Walayar on July 30, 2014. He runs a gang which enters the forest and hunts deer, Sambar deer and Nilgiri Thar. The involvement of the same gang in some of the hunting cases registered at Silent Valley is suspected. In the case registered at Walayar, four persons have been arrested. We could not nab him as he was staying abroad,” an officer said.
The Forest Department on Wednesday moved a petition at Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offence) Court to record the arrest of Rameez in the Walayar case. The court permitted forest officials to record his arrest. The Forest Department will move a petition in a competent court in Palakkad seeking his custody. The arrest will be recorded in jail in the coming days.