The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday (July 28) said in its application before NIA Ernakulam Court for the remand of accused PS Sarith that the accused sourced gold in large quantities from outside India on multiple occasions through various airports and seaports in India, especially in Kerala.
The NIA also informed the court that the probe has to be conducted abroad in this matter and the NIA also needs to interrogate high profile officials and consulate officials to find out the real kingpin and his associates.
According to the NIA, the probe has so far revelaed that the Sarith had earned huge profit from this illegal business. The central probe agency also expressed apprehension that the proceeds of gold smuggling could be used for terror funding.
"Initial investigation pointed out the larger conspiracy consisting of highly influential people both in India and abroad behind this case. The racket had already transported bulk quantities of gold from the Middle East and sold it clandestinely to various people," NIA informed the court.
Earlier, the NIA had two other accused Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair from Bengaluru in connection with this case. After formally arresting them, the NIA took Swapna Suresh and her family members in its custody.
The Customs Department had on July 5 seized 30 kg gold worth Rs 15 crore concealed in diplomatic consignment at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport.
The NIA has already registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Sarith Kumar, Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, the three persons allegedly involved in the case.
Sarith Kumar, an accused in the case who had previously worked as a public relations officer (PRO) in UAE Consulate-General`s office in Thiruvananthapuram, was arrested on July 6.