Gold smuggling case: Rameez key to unearthing terror funding

A senior Intelligence officer said Rameez was under lens for his frequent travel to Gulf countries.
KT Rameez (Photo | Special Arrangement)
KT Rameez (Photo | Special Arrangement)

KOCHI: Rather than Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, for NIA which is probing the smuggling of gold in diplomatic baggage, it will be fifth accused Rameez K T of Malappuram who will be a key link to establish terrorism and terror funding charges in the case. NIA hinted this in reports related to the case filed at NIA Court last week.

“Sandeep stated about the suspected unlawful activities of Rameez K T that are likely to affect the security of the nation. The same is under investigation,” stated the report filed on Friday. In a similar report filed on July 21, the NIA stated that Rameez is the kingpin in the case. “Sandeep stated that Rameez insisted on smuggling gold in large quantities during the lockdown as the financial position of the country is weak,” the report stated. In the same report, NIA claimed that Rameez commands and always moves with a group of persons and has extensive contacts abroad.

A senior Intelligence officer said Rameez was under lens for his frequent travel to Gulf countries. “Many agencies, including Customs, maintain a list of frequent travellers to foreign countries. Usually Rameez stays in Dubai for two months and returns to Kerala for a few days. He mostly stays in Dubai on a visiting visa. He claimed that he has business there, but our probe revealed that he didn’t do any business or job there,” the officer said.

Rameez was just 20-years old when he was first booked for smuggling 15 kg of gold through cargo in 2014. NIA sources said that his activities in the UAE are under scrutiny. “Rameez was the key player who knew about each person linked to the case from the origin in UAE to end-buyers in Kerala. He directed the proceeds of the smuggling. His interrogation will be most vital in the case including unearthing of how the fund raised from gold smuggling was directed towards anti-national organisations,” sources said.

NIA sources said that other than terrorism elements charged in the case, the preamble of the NIA Act itself permits the agency to probe incidents that affect relations with friendly nations. The gold smuggling case will have a huge impact on India-UAE relationship as a top diplomat was called back to the foreign country.

NIA to seek custody  of Rameez
NIA will file a petition in the trial court seeking the custody of Rameez soon. Rameez is currently in Customs custody which will expire on Tuesday. Forest department will also seek his custody for hunting deer at Walayar. Similarly, Enforcement Directorate, which has also registered a case and recorded his arrest, will also seek his custody.

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