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Malappuram-based businessman in customs custody over Kerala gold smuggling case

The customs department on Sunday took into custody a Malappuram-based businessman, Rameez, in connection with the case of gold smuggling through diplomatic baggage uncovered recently in Kerala. Rameez is suspected to be a crucial link in the case, local news channels have reported.

Rameez was taken into custody from his house in Malappuram and moved to the customs office in Kochi for interrogation, the reports said. Meanwhile, Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair—the two main accused in the case whom the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had arrested from Bengaluru on Saturday—were taken for questioning to the NIA office in Kochi on Sunday. Another accused in the case, Fareed Faisal, suspected to be linked to jewellery business, had absconded and is still at large.

Rameez, the businessman now in custody, had been an accused in a gold smuggling case at Kerala's Calicut International Airport in 2014. Some reports said he is a relative of MP and Muslim League leader P. K. Kunhalikutty, but, the personal staff of the politician have denied any relation.

The NIA on Friday took over the case and filed a First Information Report (FIR) on the case a day later. It has booked four people, including Swapna Suresh, who was allegedly interacting with top government officials and was posted at a subsidiary of the IT Department recently, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA.

Courtesy - Live Mint



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