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CBI files case against 9 including customs official in gold smuggling case

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: June 1, 2019  | 17:53 IST

Kochi, Jun 1 (PTI) The anti-corruption wing of the CBI here has registered a case against nine people, including a customs official, in connection with a gold smuggling case through the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. According to the Central Bureau of Investigation, credible information was received by the Anti-Corruption Branch in Kochi that Radhakrishnan, Superintendent, Customs, Air Intelligence, Thiruvananthapuram Airport and eight others entered into a criminal conspiracy and smuggled out gold worth several crores of rupees from April 27 to May 13 this year through the airport. In the FIR filed in the Special CBI Court in Thiruvananthapuram, the CBI said Sunil Kumar and Sareena Shaji in connivance with Radhakrishnan tried to smuggle out 25 kg of gold bars valued more than Rs 8.17 crore through the airport on May 13 without paying any customs duty. They were intercepted by personnel of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), who recovered the gold from Kumar's possession. The CBI said the other accused persons Vishnu Somasundaram, M Biju, Veneetha Ratnakumari, Abdul Hakkim, Rasheed P K and Prakashan Thampi "played important roles in the conspiracy". They procured the gold bars at Dubai, transported the same to Thiruvananthapuram through carriers, smuggled the gold out of the airport, sold it through jewellery shops, the CBI added. The CBI alleged the accused persons conspired among themselves and furtherance of the conspiracy smuggled gold bars valued at several crores of rupees, including the gold bars weighing 25 kg seized by DRI on May 13. Their crime constitutes the commission of cognisable offences punishable Indian Penal Code Section 120B read with 420, and Section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (as amended in 2018). Biju, a lawyer, who is the prime accused in the case, had surrendered before the officials of the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) at its office here on Friday. Earlier, Radhakrishnan was arrested in the state capital for allegedly helping the gold smugglers. The DRI sleuths had arrested him on suspicion that he had a prior knowledge of an attempt by two people from Dubai to smuggle in gold. The two, who arrived here from the Gulf nation earlier this month, were nabbed for an attempt to smuggle in 25 kg gold worth over Rs eight crore. Earlier this week, the DRI had submitted in the Kerala High Court that smuggling of gold into the country was threatening its economic well-being. PTI TGB SS KJ

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