Police baton charge on Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha activists who were protesting over Kerala gold smuggling case, in front of the Collectorate in Kozhikode (PTI)
NEW DELHI/KOCHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday said initial investigations into Thiruvananthapuram gold smuggling case had revealed that proceeds from the gold being smuggled from offshore locations into India could be used for financing terrorism in India. Sources said the consignment detected on Sunday was only the latest one in a series of consignments of gold smuggled as part of an organised racket with national and international linkages, and received by the suspects in India.
“As the case pertains to smuggling of large quantities of gold into India from offshore locations threatening India’s economic stability and national security, it amounts to a terrorist act as stated in Section 15 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967,” NIA said in a statement.
The agency informed the Kerala high court that various provisions of the anti-terror law, UAPA, had been invoked in the FIR registered on Friday. A counsel representing NIA made the submission before justice Ashok Menon during the hearing of anticipatory bail plea filed by Swapna Suresh, one of the accused in the case.
NIA listed the accused as Sarith PS (currently under arrest), Swapna Prabha Suresh, Sandeep Nair, all from Thiruvananthapuram, Fazil Fareed from Ernakulum and others and registered the FIR under Sections 16, 17 and 18 of UAPA against the accused. TOI had reported on Friday that NIA would invoke Section 15, 16, 17 and 18 of UAPA in the case.
As per sources, the case generated particular interest as accused Swapna Suresh has named a diplomat in UAE consulate-general office in Thiruvananthapuram, and alleged that it was on his directions that she had contacted the airport officer regarding the cargo. This is likely to be examined by NIA, which has an SP-level officer heading its Kochi branch office, and further steps may be taken as per laid down diplomatic procedures.