Kerala gold smuggling case: NIA suspects D-Company link, opposes bail pleas

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Proving the suspected terrorist connexion in the case of gold smuggling in Kerala, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) presented Thursday to a special NIA court in Kochi that it believes that the accused has ties to Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company in the case.

The Probe Agency lodged a lawsuit in response to the pleas of bail rendered by the seven claimants in the case. Claiming intelligence inputs relating the proceeds of gold smuggling to anti-national and terrorism activity, the report indicated that the incarceration of all suspects in gaol for up to 180 days was completely necessary to carry out the investigation.

Ramees, the fifth accused in the case, disclosed during the questioning that he was attempting to set up a diamond company in Tanzania and was also trying to acquire a gold mining licence in the region, the NIA said. The Agency also said that it had brought gold from Tanzania and sold it to the UAE.

The Organization also referenced the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee (UNSC) overview description of Dawood and the fact sheet released by the US Treasury Department, explicitly referencing the actions of its gang in Africa. “Latest news storeys also explicitly reference the diamond company of Dawood Ibrahim in Tanzania, run by his associate, ‘Feroz,’ considered a South Indian intelligence agency,” the agency said in the article.

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NIA reported that the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB), India’s highest intelligence organisation, had submitted a briefing to the Director-General of NIA during October 2019 on the possible use of proceeds from gold smuggling in Kerala, insurgency and other anti-national activities.

“It is claimed that the evidence arising during the inquiry concerning the charges under Sections 17 and/or 18 of the UAPA Act against accused individuals with otherwise seemingly minor positions suggest that the intelligence input obtained from CEIB, which contributed to the NIA inquiry of this crime, is gaining credence.

“This makes it entirely possible for the prosecution, by detaining all the accused in detention for up to 180 days, to have transnational consequences for this case,” the NIA said.

The study also notes that Mohammed Ali, another complainant in the case, is a member of the outlawed People’s Front of India radical organization. He was charge-sheeted by the police in the Kerala professor’s hand-chopping case in 2010 but absolved when more than 90 prosecution witnesses had turned aggressive during the investigation, the agency said in the study.

It said that the analysis of the data collected by C-DAC from Ali’s confiscated cell phone showed that he had formatted his phone on 19 July, following the emergence of his role in the smuggling case. However, from the restricted data obtained by C-DAC, images of paper slips depicting specifics of major cash transactions involving several lakhs of ropes, including one transaction of Rs 15 lakhs directly attributed to one “Jalal,” were obtained, NIA said.

His irregular cash transactions need to be further detected by custodial interrogation after sophisticated forensic examination and the retrieval of further data from his formatted cell phone, the Agency said.

Reacting to the NIA report, Kerala BJP Chief K Surendran said that he established a relationship between the accused and D Company and the Islamic State. “The government of the state protects these smugglers. The CM has lost moral rights to proceed, so we recommend that he resign immediately, “ANI said.

 

 

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