One of the accused in the controversial Kerala gold smuggling case, who was deported from the UAE was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Kochi airport on Monday. Rabins K Hameed, a resident of Muvattupuzha in Kerala's Ernakulam district, will be produced before a designated court on Tuesday for his remand by the agency, spokesperson and NIA Deputy Inspector General Sonia Narang said in a statement.
The case pertains to the seizure of 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crore on July 5 from diplomatic baggage at Air Cargo of Trivandrum International Airport by Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Cochin. Investigation in the case has revealed that Rabins, while being in the UAE and India, had conspired with the arrested accused Ramees KT, Jalal AM, and others. He had also arranged funds and purchased gold at Dubai for smuggling to India through diplomatic baggage.
Earlier, the NIA Special Court at Ernakulam had issued a non-bailable warrant for the arrest of Rabins. According to the NIA statement, it is also alleged that he was involved in the concealment of gold in electronics or electrical equipment and household items in the UAE, for smuggling the contraband to Thiruvananthapuram. The 30 kg gold seized on July 5 was also concealed in various pipe fittings.
Faisal Fareed, a key accused in the case, is still in UAE. Though it had earlier come out that Faisal is also under the custody of UAE officials, he was not deported with Rabins to India.
Earlier, NIA had conducted a search in Rabins's house in Muvattupuzha and had reportedly seized electronic devices. It has been alleged that over 160 kg of gold, including the seized consignment, has been smuggled in the past one year through diplomatic baggage.
(With PTI input)