Meanwhile Manorama News has revealed the role of Malappuram native Abdul Hameed in another smuggling case where Sandeep Nair’s name cropped up.

Picture for gold smuggling case in Kerala
news Crime Monday, July 13, 2020 - 15:39

Customs has recorded the arrest of Rameez, a native of Malappuram, who was earlier taken into custody in the controversial gold smuggling case of Kerala.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested three persons in the case so far – including Sarith who was first arrested and two other accused – Sandeep Nair and Swapna Suresh – later nabbed from Bengaluru.

A fourth person – Fazil Fareed – who is believed to be in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) -- is also named among the accused.

Rameez’s role in the case is reportedly in selling the gold to various jewelers. Asianet News has reported the Customs as saying that Sandeep would pass over the gold to Rameez for selling it to jewellery shops and that the gold in this case has been sold in the Koduvally region of Kozhikode.

He has reportedly been involved in two smuggling cases in June itself before the third attempt was caught by the Customs in Thiruvananthapuram airport on June 30.

Meanwhile Manorama News has revealed the role of another Malappuram native Abdul Hameed in a year old smuggling case where again Sandeep Nair’s name cropped up. In July 13, 2019, gold was brought to Kerala through Dubai diplomatic cargo, said the report. Hameed told Manorama that Sandeep had assigned him for the purpose and he had gone to Dubai thrice on visiting visa. The third time however, the Dubai Air Cargo sent it back. Hameed claimed that he didn’t know there was smuggling, what the bag claimed to contain were an emergency lamp, tang, nido powder and tea bags. He didn’t know where the parcel went or to whom, Hameed said.

The gold smuggling case rose into a political controversy a day after it was seized, when the name of Swapna Suresh cropped up. Politicians dug up her previous jobs and alleged her connection to the UAE Consulate and to M Sivasakanar, who was Principal Secretary of the IT Department. Following the controversy, Sivasankar was removed from this post as well as his post as secretary to the Chief Minister's office. But protests by Opposition UDF and BJP parties continued on the streets, despite various parts of the state being under lockdown to contain COVID-19.

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