Kerala

CBI launches manhunt for Customs official

A linchpin in gold smuggling case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has launched a search for a senior Customs official who was alleged to be the linchpin of a Dubai-based racket that smuggled large amounts of contraband gold into the country through the Thiruvananthapuram international airport early this year.

Officials identify the suspect as B. Radhakrishnan, former Superintendent, Customs Air Intelligence Unit, Thiruvananthapuram. The CBI has interviewed his wife and served notice for his appearance before the investigating officer. The agency is poised to declare him a fugitive from law as a precursor to posting lookout notices for him in the public domain.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has initiated proceedings under the COFEPOSA (Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities) Act against the officer.

Anti-corruption angle

The CBI is looking into the anti-corruption angle in the case. Its examinations are reportedly focussed on unearthing the corrupt financial links between the officer and the suspects abroad.

The agency has brought his investments, assets, bank accounts, and the wealth acquired by his relatives and nominees under its scanner.

The CBI case is that gold smugglers could successfully run the gauntlet of various agencies at the airport because they had at least one pliant officer at all times at the X-ray scanning machine.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 10:31:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cbi-launches-manhunt-for-customs-official/article30280364.ece

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