(Eds: adding details) Kozhikode (Ker), Sep 6 (PTI) Two officials of the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) were injured when they were 'deliberately' hit by a car carrying gold smugglers which they tried to stop outside the Karipur airport near here on Sunday, officials said.
The injured officials have been admitted to a hospital here, the DRI officials said.
Two of their officials were injured, one seriously, when they tried to stop the car carrying the gold smugglers outside the airport, they said.
The motorcycle in which the DRI officials were travelling was 'totally crushed' in the 'ambush deliberately carried out' by the smugglers while the officials were trying to intercept their car carrying smuggled gold, officials said.
One smuggler has been arrested and charged under IPC Section 307 (attempt to murder), while another managed to flee after their car lost control and hit a tree in the 'rare incident' that happened in the state during the hunt for smuggled gold, officials said.
Four kilograms of gold have been recovered from the car, they said.
Police said a hunt is on to nab the man.
Taking serious note of the incident, Central agency officials probing the smuggling cases said they were surprised by the 'unprecedented' attack on their men by the members of the gold smuggling syndicate in Kerala.
'Generally, the gold smugglers don't attack us.
This is the first time in a gold smuggling case that our men were ambushed by members of the syndicate running the illegal business.
Attempts were made to kill our men. They deliberately did that. This is a clear signal for us,' a senior officer of a central agency told PTI.
He said the Central agencies probing the smuggling cases suspect that the gold smuggling rackets in the state have become 'bold due to the political patronage' they received from some unexpected quarters.
Seeking to link the incident with the sensational gold smuggling case in Kerala, the officer said the central agencies suspect that those in the car were members of the 'same gold smuggling syndicate' which they were probing.
Several members of the gold smuggling syndicate in Kerala have been arrested by the Central agencies probing the Kerala gold smuggling case through 'diplomatic baggage' of a foreign consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.
Multiple agencies, including NIA, Customs and Enforcement Directorate are probing the case of smuggling of gold worth over Rs 100 crore through diplomatic baggage addressed to the UAE consulate at Thiruvananthapuram since November last year.
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