Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Hunt for accomplice in Kerala gold racket

The probe into the gold smuggling racket in Kerala, which has already displaced a senior IAS officer, has led customs officials to the doors of an alleged accomplice of an accused.

Customs officials picked up one Sandeep Nair’s wife Soumya for interrogation on Wednesday. Sources said P.S. Sarith, former public relations officer at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) consulate, who is in judicial custody for gold smuggling, had named Sandeep as an accomplice during interrogation.

Customs officials at the international airport in Thiruvananthapuram had on Sunday unearthed 30kg of smuggled gold, valued at Rs 14.82 crore, packed in a “diplomatic” baggage addressed to the charge d’ affaires of the UAE consulate, Rashed Khamis al Musaiqri al Ashmia. The official had told customs that he had nothing to do with the smuggled gold.

Sources said Sandeep and Soumya were friends with Swapna Suresh, the alleged main conspirator who is absconding since the smuggling racket was busted. Swapna had worked as an executive assistant at the UAE consulate and also as the operations manager of the IT department’s Space Park in the Kerala capital.

Sandeep’s mother Usha told reporters that some officials searched her house on Wednesday before taking Soumya for questioning. “The officials said they wanted to know about Sandeep’s whereabouts so she should go with them,” Usha told reporters at her residence in Thiruvananthapuram.
08/07/20 Telegraph
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