Saturday, June 26, 2021

Customs reports role of Kannur man

Kochi: The additional chief judicial magistrate (economic offences), Ernakulam, has directed the Customs to produce Mohammed Shafeeque Melethil who was nabbed at the Karipur airport with 2.33kg of gold worth around Rs 1.11 crore before the court on Monday. The seizure became sensational after a gang allegedly associated with the smuggling bid met with an accident at Ramanattukara in which five people were killed.

Customs in the report filed in court on Friday explained the role of Arjun Ayanki, a Kannur native who was in contact with Shafeeque. He is yet to be arrested in the case and a summons has been served by the investigation officer directing him to appear at its Kochi office on Monday.

Meanwhile, voice messages, reportedly made by Ayanki and gang as part of the smuggling bid, surfaced on Friday. Sleuths are investigating a plan to rob the smuggled gold by another gang as well in the case. Investigators suspect that the gangs have tried to rob the smuggled gold in the past as well.

According to Customs, Shafeeque admitted that the gold seized from him was arranged through one Saleem, whose whereabouts are not known to him. As directed by Saleem, two men approached him in Dubai. One man was named Jaleel and the name of the second person is not known. They handed over one carton box and one trolley bag containing the coffee maker machine in which the gold cylinder was concealed, to him. He also stated that he was connected to Saleem through one Muhammed who was connected to him by one person named Arjun Ayanki, Customs said in the report.

“He was directed to hand over the trolley bag containing the gold to the person contacting him outside the Calicut airport. Later, Ayanki told him to change the shirt which was worn by the said passenger on reaching Calicut International Airport and that he would be waiting for the passenger outside the arrival area of the airport,” said Customs.

He admitted that he was offered Rs 40,000 and an air ticket to Calicut for smuggling the gold. Shafeeque was arrested and was produced before the CJM court, Manjeri, which remanded him in judicial custody till July 6.

26/06/21 Times of India

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