KOCHI: The Customs on Friday arrested two more persons who allegedly funded the purchase of 30kg of gold which was smuggled in a diplomatic baggage from the UAE that arrived at the Thiruvananthapuram airport. They are Aboobacker Pazedath, 60, of Pezhadath House at Pazhamallur near Koottilangadi in Malappuram and Abdul Hameed P M, 54, of Padikkamannil House at Koottilangadi. Four suspected financiers were arrested in the last two days.
According to Customs officials, both were summoned to the office following a statement given by Said Alavi, another accused, and their arrests were recorded after interrogation. Both were produced before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offence) Court and remanded. “Both persons were active smugglers in 1980-1990. They themselves had smuggled gold and foreign goods. After they were caught by the Customs, they stopped the illegal activity and started running small-scale businesses in their native places,” a Customs official said. Following the financial crisis due to the lockdown, they invested money in gold smuggling recently. “Both have invested more than Rs 1 crore. They were expecting double the amount once the gold reached the end buyers,” an officer said.
Meanwhile, the Customs carried out searches at three jewellery shops in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. “We suspect that the gold smuggled by the gang reached these shops. The role of the owners is being probed and they will be interrogated in the coming days,” said the officer.
Raid on Faisal’s residence
The sleuths also raided the residence of Faisal Fareed at Kaipamangalam in Thrissur. Faisal is suspected to have sent the baggage containing the gold from Dubai. Apart from it, searches were also carried out at the residences of Sandeep Nair, third accused in the case, and his friend in Thiruvananthapuram. The Customs officials recovered a laptop. They claimed Sandeep this laptop to forge documents for bringing the diplomatic baggage from Dubai. Some seals were also recovered from his residence.