They were on deputation to the Emigration wing

The Central Intelligence Bureau (CIB), Kerala unit, has helped the Customs and Central Excise Department identify at least two Emigration Department officials, both on deputation to the agency from the State police, suspected to have abetted large-scale smuggling of gold through the international airport here.

Official sources said the CIB, which handles the Emigration check-post at the airport, had dishonourably discharged them from their duties and repatriated them to their parent department.

The CIB had come under a cloud after a 25-year-old arrested on the charge of attempting to smuggle 2 kg of gold into the country from Dubai told Customs enforcers that he had been tasked to hand over the contraband to a person, who would identify himself as ‘Kunhali,’ inside a toilet near the Emigration Department counter.

Soon, a set of Emigration Department officials came under the cloud of suspicion.

Call data verified

Working in tandem with the Customs investigators, CIB officials verified call data records and surveillance camera footage to identify the suspects.

One Rafique of Ambalathara, suspected king pin of gold smuggling operation through the international airport here, told Customs officials that one Ismail based in Dubai had sent him at least eight consignments of contraband gold through careers like the 25-year-old in the past three months. The carriers were paid Rs.25,000 for each trip. Investigators said certain jewellery chains seemed to be the end beneficiaries of the smuggling racket.