3 customs officials arraigned in gold smuggling case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arraigned three customs officials in the case related to the recent smuggling of 20kg of gold by two burqa-clad women through Cochin international airport in Kerala.

By T K Devasia

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Published: Sat 28 Sep 2013, 12:26 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 4:46 PM

The premier investigating agency named Deputy Commissioner C Madhavan, Preventive Officer P Sunil Kumar and an inspector in the first information report (FIR) in the court on Thursday based on the interrogation of main accused T Fayas. Sunil had reportedly helped the women pass through the green channel. He has been suspended by the customs department.

The two women and the husband of one of them also figure in the FIR. A senior official of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), who allegedly introduced Fayas to the customs deputy commissioner, is also under the CBI scanner.

Fayas reportedly admitted during interrogation that he had been carrying out smuggling using carriers with the active help of the customs officials. He conceded that he had smuggled in 52kg of gold so far. The women were involved in the smuggling of 35kg.

Madhavan admitted that he knew Fayas for the last few years and had introduced him to the customs official who accompanied the two women. But, he denied any involvement with the smuggling activities. The CBI has raided his house for evidence.

Fayas, who also used to smuggle gold through Trivandrum and Calicut airports, was connected with politicians of all hues, film stars, senior police and administrative service officers. A vice president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) and former aide of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy are among his close friends.

He was also said to be close to Kodi Suni, the prime accused in the murder of Marxist rebel T P Chandrashekharan. He had visited CPM Calicut district secretariat member Mohanan Master and some other party members, accused in the case, in the Calicut jail recently.

The Kerala police have also launched an investigation into his role in the high profile murder. Fayas was also said to be involved in human trafficking through the Cochin airport. The case is already under the investigation of the CBI.

Meanwhile, the mother of serial actress Priyanka, who committed suicide last year, alleged that Fayas was behind the death of her daughter. She told reporters at Calicut that he had tried to take her to Gulf. Priyanka’s husband Rahim was close to Fayas, she added.

The arrest of Fayas has rattled constituents of both the ruling and opposition fronts. Government chief whip P C George alleged that leaders from all political parties had maintained close connections with him.

He said Fayas was involved in other anti-national activities. He has urged the chief minister to hand over the investigation of the case to the National Investigation Agency, which probes case related to national security. CPM politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has also made a similar demand.

news@khaleejtimes.com



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