THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Hardly a week after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) quizzed Kerala Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel at its Kochi office in connection with the sensational Kerala gold smuggling case, sleuths on Tuesday inspected the Thiruvananthapuram office of the Kerala State Centre for Advanced Printing and Training (C-apt) which distributed copies of the Quran in the state.
The officers conducted the inspection based on statements by the minister. They inspected files and stock registers pertaining to the transportation of Quran and the vehicle which brought it. The copies of the Quran were kept in a storeroom of the institution, which was inspected by the officers. Three staffers in the office were also quizzed by the investigation agency.
The inspection began at 9.30 am and the files related to the transportation of the Quran were seized. Sources said the NIA had sought details on C-apt's association with the office of the UAE Consulate General in Thiruvananthapuram. The agency is seeking information about the visits made by a consulate vehicle to the C-apt office at Vattiyoorkavu in the state capital.
The agency took the details on the visits made by the consulate vehicle and also about some literature which was reportedly printed at the unit, sources said. Earlier, Jaleel had admitted to the sleuths that he had distributed the Quran along with Ramzan food kits received from the UAE Consulate.
It had earlier come to light that the state-owned institution under the higher education department distributed thousands of copies of the Quran which were received as a gift from the UAE Consulate.
While there is nothing illegal in distribution of the Quran to the general public, the religious books reached a government office without prior intimation to the Ministries of External Affairs and Home.
The Opposition parties had earlier alleged that the Quran packets contained smuggled gold owing to Jaleel's alleged links with gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh.
Earlier, Jaleel was interrogated by the Enforcement Department to investigate whether he is involved in smuggling gold under the pretext of transporting the Quran to the C-apt office.