Crime India Kerala

Customs impose  Rs  66  crore  for diplomatic gold  smuggling in 2020

By  Our  Special Correspondent

Kochi, Nov 09  (IVC)    The  Customs Department  has imposed a penalty  of  Rs 50 lakh  on  M Sivasankar, former Principal  Secretary  to  Kerala Chief  Minister  Pinarayi  Vijayan.    

                The Customs Department also imposed  a fine of Rs  6 (Six) crore  on the prime accused  Swapna Suresh   in connection with the  sensational     case  related t to  the smuggling  of  gold  through  diplomatic baggage  of the UAE Consulate  at the Thiruvananthapuram airport

The fine was  imposed by  the Commissioner  of Customs (Preventive) Kochi, under  section 112 (a)  and (b)  of thee Customs Act, 1962  for improper  importation of goods.

A total  of Rs  66.6  crore  was  imposed as  penalty  on  44  accused  in the case , including  two  former diplomats  of the UAE Consulate  in Thiruvananthapuram.

                The  Customs officials  at the international airport  in Thiruvananthapuram  had  seized gold   weighing  30 kgs valued  at Rs 14.8  crore  on July 05, 2020.  It was  found  inside  the diplomatic  baggage  and addressed  to  the UAE  Consulate.

                Mr  Sivsankar was  arrested  by  the Customs  after Swapna  Suresh  submitted  that  he had abetted  the gold  smuggling activities  and was “ in  the know of things.”  

A penalty  of Rs 6 crore  was  imposed on Jamal  Husein Alzaabi, the  then  Consul  General, UAE Consulate, Thiruvananthapuram.  The Customs also  imposed   a penalty  of  Rs  6 crore  on Rashed  Khamis Alimusaiqri Al Ashmei, the  then  Admin  Attache and Ex Charge de  Affairs  of the Consulate.

                The order  stated that the key accused, including P S  Sarith and Sandeep  Nair , have  to pay a fine of  Rs 6 crore each.  K  T Rameez  of Malappuram, considered  as  the mastermind behind  the  gold smuggling  case, should also pay  a  fine Rs 6 crore.   Cappithan Agencies, Customs broker, has  to remit  a fine of Rs 4  crore .  S Jayasankar, husband of  Swapna Suresh  has  been imposed a fine of Rs 2 crore.

                The customs stated   that  the smuggling racket  had successfully smuggled  about  136.8 kgs  of gold between July  15, 2019 and June 27, 2020 through the Air  Cargo  Complex  Thiruvananthapuram. The smuggling  syndicate  also  illegally routed the  sale   proceeds  of the smuggled gold  to Dubai  through hawala channel  which was  further  used  for  purchase of  the  next  consignment  of golg  intended  to be smuggled  into  India , and continued  this  process throughout  the operations, it said.

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