The National Investigation Agency probing the Kerala gold smuggling case told a special court in Kochi that it suspects that the accused have links to Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company.
NIA in a report by news agency ANI, said that accused Ramees KT and Sharafudheen had travelled to Tanzania and visited shops in the African country where guns are sold. In Tanzania, Rameez attempted to procure a licence for the diamond business. He later smuggled gold to the UAE.
“From the UAE, he brought gold to Kerala. Tanzania and Dubai are the main places where the D-company is active. In fact, D-company’s affairs in Tanzania are handled by a south Indian named Firoz Oasis. We suspect Rameez’s links with D-company. Rameez was caught by the Customs in November 2019 for smuggling 13 .22 mm bore rifles. This happened when the gold smuggling was taking place,” the NIA said.
The NIA informed the court that they had also retrieved a photo of the accused Sharafudheen holding a rifle in Tanzania.
The matter had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crores smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage was busted by the Customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5.
Meanwhile, Kerala High Court has directed the Enforcement Directorate not to arrest M Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to Kerala CMO, till October 23, in connection with Kerala gold smuggling case.
The surfacing of the alleged Dawood angle has led opposition parties in Kerala to hit out at the ruling LDF and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. While the BJP has demanded Vijayan’s resignation, the Congress termed case as one of the biggest crimes in the state.
Reacting to the sensational NIA revelations, Congress leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Legislative Assembly Ramesh Chennithala told ANI : “It’s very shocking that the main culprit in gold smuggling case has connections with Dawood Ibrahim. It is one of the biggest crimes that happened in Kerala. Unfortunately, state govt was supporting the culprits. NIA will unearth details of this crime.
The relationship of the accused in the gold smuggling case with D company and ISIS has been established. State govt is shielding these smugglers. The CM has lost moral rights to continue, hence, we demand that he resigns immediately, BJP Kerala chief K Surendran was quoted as saying by news agency ANI .