ED gets custody of three in gold smuggling case

The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday got the custody of three key accused persons in the gold smuggling case in Kerala.

“We have taken the custody of accused Sarith P.S., Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair for questioning in connection with large-scale smuggling of gold through air cargo shipments addressed to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) consulate in Thiruvananthapuram,” said an agency official.

The ED is probing the money laundering angle to the case, whereas the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been pursuing the criminal aspect of the conspiracy to smuggle gold into the country from the UAE in large quantities.

It is suspected that the syndicate had smuggled in about 250 kg of gold since July 2019.

The alleged kingpin has been identified by the NIA as K.T. Ramees, who was first arrested by the Customs Department. The scam came to light on July 5 when 30 kg of gold was seized at the airport in Thiruvananthapuram.

Accused Sarith P.S. and Ms. Suresh were former employees in the consulate. Mr. Nair and Ms. Suresh were arrested by the NIA in Bengaluru on July 11.

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