Bank accounts of 3 Gulf NRIs frozen in Kerala over gold scam

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Fayaz T K, who was arrested from Delhi last week.

Case against Kochi Deputy Customs Commissioner filed by CBI

Investigation into the gold smuggling racket from Gulf countries to India through Kochi’s Nedumbassy International Airport has been intensified after two female passengers from a Gulf airport were arrested by Customs officials.

On Sunday, the Kochi unit of the Central Bureau of Investigation decided to freeze the bank accounts of four Gulf-based Indians, allegedly involved in the gold smuggling racket that saw nearly 58 kgs of gold smuggled through the Nedumbasserry International Airport in the last two months.

A senior Customs Officer has been suspended for facilitating gold smuggling nine other officials have been transferred.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started an investigation into the gold smuggling racket allegedly with the connivance of senior officials and politicians in the state of Kerala. The bank accounts of TKF, a Gulf-based NRI (Non-Resident Indian) who is the main accused and two females who carried gold biscuits and a Customs officer, are frozen as part of the investigation into the alleged links with the hawala racket.

The CBI is investigating how the money was transferred to these bank accounts.

SK, a preventive officer has been suspended from service and the CBI has filed a case against the Deputy Customs Commissioner for allegedly facilitating gold smuggling by TKF and his accomplice Ashraf, another Gulf-based NRI. TKF has been arrested and Ashraf is being investigated.

The CBI Kochi Unit has taken over the investigation into the gold smuggling racket from Gulf countries to India and conducted raids in the offices of the suspected officials.

fayaz-tk1Fayaz T K

Media reports from India suggest that four people have been arrested in connection with the gold smuggling through the Nedumbasserry International Airport Kochi. More arrests are likely, the Press Trust of India, reported quoting the Customs Commissioner KN Raghavan.

Emirates 24|7 reported earlier, two female passengers who were travelling from a Gulf airport to Kochi were nabbed by customs officials with 20 kilograms of gold, hidden and tied to their body using special jackets and belts, under the burqa. The ladies who carried the gold biscuits through the Customs Green Channel, claimed they received Dh1,000 for each kilogram of gold smuggled on behalf of TKF.

Further questioning of the arrested ladies led to subsequent arrest of TKF who was trying to flee India from Delhi Airport.

Gold smuggling through the Indian airports has been going up, due to huge price difference in India and the UAE.

According to information released by Customs officials, TKF was named as the man who authorised the two female passengers to smuggle 20 kgs of gold.

There are three major people allegedly involved in the gold smuggling case – TKF from Vadakara, Kerala and his brother Faizal and certain Ashraf from Telecherry, Kerala.

An investigation by Customs Department in India is also looking at senior Customs Officials who are stationed in major airports in Kerala who could have aided the gold smugglers. The two ladies were arrested after they came out through the Green Channel. Investigators are examining the CCTV footages of the airport arrival terminal to see the visuals of passengers passing through the green channel.

TKF is said to have played a minor role in the movie Shringaravelan, and his BMW car was also used in the movie, according to reports. His phone calls to a celebrity, Miss South India, are also being examined by the investigators.

His Facebook profile indicates close links to some of senior customs officials, celebrities and politicians.

The Indian media is also reporting an alleged link to former personal staff of Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who was removed from the CM’s office.

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