ED attaches gold, cash in gold- smuggling case

By Special Correspondent

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached 30.245 kg of gold worth ₹14.82 crore and cash to the tune of ₹14.98 lakh in connection with the diplomatic channel gold smuggling case.

The gold belonged to 13 accused in the case and the cash to P.S. Sarith and Swapna Suresh, the key accused in the case.

The ED initiated investigation by invoking the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the case based on a First Information Report filed by the National Investigation Agency before a special court here. The NIA had booked the accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

On its part, the Cochin Customs had also registered a case following the seizure of gold at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.

The accused, according to the investigation agencies, smuggled gold in diplomatic baggage to the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapruam. The consignment was to be received by Sarith in complicity with Swapna and Sandeep Nair, according to a communication.

During the course of investigation under the PMLA, it was revealed that the accused persons had obtained the proceeds of crime in the form of commission for smuggling gold. The accused/suspects illegally routed the sale proceeds of previously smuggled gold to Dubai, which was used for the purchase of the next consignment of gold to be smuggled into India, the communication said.

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