Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Kerala: 5 suspected gold smugglers killed in SUV-truck collision

Kochi: Five men were killed in Kerala’s Kozhikode district on Monday morning when the SUV they were travelling in was involved in a high-speed collision with a truck near Ramanattukara municipality. Initially deemed a regular accident due to over-speeding, police now suspect that the occupants of the SUV were all part of a gold smuggling gang.

The deceased, all natives of Cherpulassery in Palakkad district, have been identified as Muhammad Saheer, Thahir, Nasser, Subair and Hassainar. Their vehicle was part of a convoy of three cars with 15 persons from Cherpulassery, all of whom have purported connections to a gold smuggling racket operating out of the Calicut international airport.

Police officers got suspicious about the accident when they realised that five in the car had no reason to be at Ramanattukara at the time of the accident if they were returning to Cherpulassery from the airport at Karipur.

Subsequently, the officers traced two other cars with the help of CCTV footage. Six persons, apprehended from the cars, are being questioned at the police station in Feroke.

There are suspicions that the gang from Cherpulassery were chasing another gang from Koduvally when the accident took place.

Earlier on Monday, Customs officers at Calicut airport apprehended a 23-year-old passenger who had arrived from Dubai with around 2.3 kg gold. Police now suspect that the gang involved in the car accident was planning to collect the gold that was being smuggled in.

22/06/21  Vishnu Varma/Indian Express

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