KOCHI: A Malappuram native who was arrested for smuggling 2.3 kg of gold worth Rs 1.11 crores concealed in a coffee-making machine earlier this week revealed the names and roles of persons involved including former DYFI member Arjun Ayanki to the Customs probe team.
The Customs Department on Friday filed petitions at Ernakulam Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offence) court seeking production of Mohammad Shafeeque Melathil and his custody for 10 days.
On Monday, Shafeeque who arrived from Dubai at Karipur airport was intercepted by the Customs officials and the gold was found concealed inside a coffee-maker. The smuggling attempt resulted in a tussle between two smuggling rackets followed by a car chase and an accident in which five persons were killed in Ramanattukara on the Kozhikode-Malappuram border.
"He admitted that the gold seized from him was arranged through a man named Saleem, whose whereabouts are not known to him. As directed by Salem, two men approached him in Dubai, one is Jaleel and the name of the second person is not known. These two persons handed over one carton box and one trolley bag containing the coffee-maker machine in which the gold cylinder was concealed," said the Customs petition.
The petition said Shafeeque told the Customs that he was connected to Saleem through a man identified as Muhammed who was connected to him by Arjun. "He was directed to hand over the trolley bag containing the gold to the person who contacted him outside the Karipur Airport. Later, Ariun told him to change the shirt on reaching Karipur International Airport and he would be waiting for him outside the arrival area of the Karipur Airport. He admitted that he was offered Rs 40,000 and an air ticket to Karipur for this smuggling act," the petition said.
According to the Customs, it appears that the accused had connections with smuggling rackets with interstate connections and the present incident is only the tip of the iceberg. The Customs has appointed a special team from the Customs Preventive Headquarters in Kochi to probe the case.