Kerala

NIA denies political victimisation in gold smuggling case

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) submitted that there was no political victimisation in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case.

Opposing the bail application of the accused, the investigation agency submitted that the Kerala Chief Minister had written to the Prime Minister seeking a comprehensive probe into the smuggling case.

The letter written by the Chief Minister was also read out in the court by the lawyer of the investigation agency.

The NIA was thankful to the Chief Minister for taking up the issue with the Prime Minister and multiple agencies are looking into the various aspects of the case, said Assistant Solicitor General Vijayakumar, who also appeared in the court.

If at all there was any political victimisation, the Chief Minister would have raised it. The Kerala government had suspended a senior and powerful officer from the service in connection with the case. He was also kept off the office of the Chief Minister, which was a matter of serious concern, he said without naming the official.

As the NIA dealt at length on how the gold smuggling would destabilize the economic security of the country and hence attracts the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the court asked about the material evidences on record to prove that it was not just another economic offence.

The NIA submitted that the accused had smuggled around 200kg of gold on as many as 20 occasions.

The counsel for the accused submitted that the agency didn't posses anything other than what was recorded in the First Information Report and the remand statements.

The NIA also submitted that it had arrested four more persons in the case, taking the total count of the accused to 14.

The court posted the case for August 6.

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Printable version | Sep 30, 2020 8:59:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/nia-denies-political-victimisation-in-gold-smuggling-case/article32266755.ece

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