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NIA takes up investigation of Kerala gold smuggling case

FIR registered against Sarith P.S., Swapna Prabha Suresh, Fazil Fareed and Sandeep Nair and others in connection with the seizure of 30 kg of 24-carat gold worth Rs.14.82 crores at Trivandrum International Airport on July 5 this month by the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Cochin.

The aforesaid consignment was found camouflaged in diplomatic baggage from UAE that is exempted from inspection as per the Vienna Convention. The said consignment was to be received by Sarith P.S. who had worked in the UAE. 

Consulate earlier as Public Relations Officer. Initial investigation by Customs Department has revealed that Sarith P.S. had received multiple such consignments earlier as well.

As the case pertains to smuggling of large quantity of gold into India from offshore locations threatening the economic stability and national security of the country, it amounts to a terrorist act as stated in section 15 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

Further, as the case has national and international linkages and as the initial enquiries have revealed that the proceeds of smuggled gold could be used for financing of terrorism in India, NIA has taken up the investigation of the case.

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