The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence raided a flat rented by Nabeel, accused of running a racket that smuggled gold into the country, at Maradu here on Tuesday.
The raid was held in connection with the arrest of two women, Hiramosa Sebastian and Rahila Cheerayi, from Karipur airport with 6 kg of gold in their possession. Nabeel, and two others Shabas and Abdul Layis, allegedly handed over the gold to the two women from the Gulf.
DRI officials said that the flat was taken on rent under the pretext that Nabeel was involved in film production and that he worked out of the apartment. “The front for renting the flat was that he was producing films. But the flat was also used for accommodating the carriers of the gold and to store the smuggled gold,” said an official. The two female accused also stayed at the flat allegedly when they smuggled gold earlier. Sources said that Nabeel met important film personalities at the flat. The agency is investigating their possible links with the gold smuggling racket.
Officials sealed the flat and seized a luxury bike owned by Nabeel that was kept on the premises. Meanwhile, the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) denied bail to Hiramosa and Rahila. Their counsel had argued that the alleged crime only amounted to evasion of duty and sought the court’s lenience. The DRI submitted before the court that the two women had confessed to smuggling gold before from Chennai, Karipur, and Nedumbassery airports.
Hiromasa allegedly smuggled 13 kg of gold on previous occasions, once through Chennai airport in July and through Nedumbassery another time. She allegedly introduced her friend Rahila to the smuggling racket. The DRI submitted before the court that Rahila had confessed to smuggling 20 kg of gold earlier through Karipur, Chennai, and Nedumbassery airports. The agency said that only a small percentage of smuggling by the women had been detected.
The court said that no leniency would be granted in the matter. The alleged crimes had caused loss to the exchequer and had adverse socio-economic consequences, the court said, while denying bail to the accused.