New Delhi [India], March 15 (ANI): Enforcement Directorate (ED) has initiated investigation into the Kerala gold smuggling case on the basis of an FIR registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai informed on Wednesday.
In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, MoS Home Nityanand Rai said, “A case relating to seizure of around 30 Kg of gold at Trivandrum International Airport by Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Cochin on 05/07/2020 was entrusted to the National Investigation Agency on 09/07/2020. The National Investigation Agency has filed a charge-sheet against 20 accused persons under sections 16, 17, 18 and 20 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on 05/01/2021.”
“Enforcement Directorate (ED) has also initiated an investigation in the aforesaid case on the basis of FIR registered by the National Investigation Agency. As on date, assets worth Rs 19.37 crores (approximately) including gold weighing around 35.33 kg have been attached, seized and 04 persons were arrested and 02 Prosecution Complaints have been filed by Enforcement Directorate,” he added.
On July 5, 2020, 30 kilograms of 24-carat gold worth Rs 14.82 crores was seized by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs at Thiruvananthapuram Airport from a diplomatic bag that was meant to be delivered to the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.
M Sivasankar, the principal secretary to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, was suspended and removed from the post after a preliminary inquiry confirmed that he had links with Swapna Suresh, one of the accused in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe. (ANI)