Highly placed sources in the multiple investigation agencies involved in the case confirmed to PTI here about the National Investigation Agency (NIA) taking the duo into custody.
Swapna, a former employee of the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, is among the four accused booked by the NIA in the smuggling of 30 kg of gold through diplomatic baggage which arrived at the Thiruvanathapuram International airport on July 5.
The gold valued at around Rs 15 crore was seized by the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Kochi.
Swapna, Sarith and Sandeep Nair of Thiruvananthapuram and Fazil Fareed of Ernakulam have been listed in the smuggling case as accused.
Both Swapna and Sandeep had been on the run since their names cropped up in connection with the case a few days ago.
Sarith has already been arrested by the Customs (Preventive) Department.
The Central agencies including the NIA and the Customs had opposed Swapna’s anticipatory bail plea in the Kerala high court.
The two accused were taken into custody a day after the NIA began the investigation into the case after a Union Home Ministry order in this connection.
The NIA had on Friday registered the FIR under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and said it has taken up the probe as the case has international linkages and as the initial inquiries have revealed the proceeds of the smuggled gold could be used for financing terrorism in India.
Also, as the case pertains to smuggling of a 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 the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The development came two days after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his “intervention for an effective investigation” and after the Union Home Ministry allowed the agency to probe it, saying the incident “may have serious implications for national security”.
The news about the two accused being taken into custody came a few minutes after Kerala police chief Loknath Behera constituted a special team to assist NIA and Customs to nab the absconding accused.
if(geolocation && geolocation != 5 && (typeof skip == 'undefined' || typeof skip.fbevents == 'undefined')) !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s) if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function()n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments); if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n;n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version='2.0'; n.queue=;t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0; t.src=v;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e); s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)(window, document,'script', 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js'); fbq('init', '338698809636220'); fbq('track', 'PageView');
- Residents blame Ludhiana MC for ignoring fogging
- Mumbai: Two missing after a fishing boat carrying 13 fishermen capsizes
- Theatre doyen Ebrahim Alkazi who trained Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri dies at 94
- Won’t spare any politician or public servant found complicit in hooch tragedy: Punjab CM
- Nitish Kumar recommends CBI probe in Sushant case, sets up a new row
- Covid-19: Indigenous Australian group blocks Uluru access route over pandemic fears
- Covid-19 will disappear with blessings of Lord Ram, says Shiv Sena ahead of ‘bhoomi pujan’ ceremony
- Kolkata airport operations will be suspended for 7 days in August due to Bengal lockdown
- Coronavirus lockdown study reports surge in health anxieties
- HC adjourns virtual hearings after heavy rainfall in Mumbai, hearings postponed to Wednesday
- Congress again reaches out to rebel Rajasthan MLAs, lists its only condition
- Kareena Kapoor, Kajol, Alia Bhatt, Tara Sutaria dress to impress for Rakhi 2020
- Early indicators of economic activity in July show improvement over June: Nomura
- Tripura CM in home quarantine after two family members test Covid positive
- Aam Aadmi Party to restructure Delhi unit with an eye on municipal polls: Gopal Rai