Gold smuggling case: Syndicate had patronage of 2 notorious

·2-min read

criminals, Customs tells Ker court Kochi, Jun 29 (PTI) The Customs probing the gold smuggling case through Karipur international airport informed a court here that the smuggling syndicate operating from Kannur received patronage from two notorious criminals convicted in connection with the murder of a rebel Marxist leader in Malabar few years ago.

'Intelligence gathered reveals that gold smuggling gangs operating from Kannur received patronage from N K Sunil Kumar alias Kodi Suni and Mohammad Shafi,' the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate said in an application seeking custody of Arjun Ayanki, a key member of the Kannur-based gold smuggling syndicate, arrested in connection with the sensational gold smuggling case through the Karipur International Airport late last month.

Both Kodi Suni and Shafi, allegedly close to some CPI(M) leaders in north Kerala, are currently serving a jail term after being convicted in the T P Chandrasekharan murder case in 2012.

Chandrasekharan was the founder of Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP), a breakaway group of CPI(M).

The Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court (Economic Offences) dismissed the application seeking Ayanki's custody.

When he was produced before the court after ending his seven-day custody period, Ayanki alleged that he was subjected to torture.

In its application, the Customs said the first accused in the case, Mohammed Shafeeque, in his voluntary statement has deposed that Ayanki had informed him that he has the backing of Shafi and that Shafeeque will be offered all protection from rival gangs.

Customs said the residence of Shafi was searched by its officers on July 3 which led to recovery of certain electronic devices which need further analysis.

The Customs said Shafi,recently out on parole, has been summoned to appear before the investigating officer on July 7.

'Investigation reveals that the gangs project themselves as supporters of a political party through social media and thus lure youth to their fold and further use them for anti-social activities for which they source their funds by smuggling activities,' the Customs said.

The case grabbed the attention of the public following the death of a gang of five men in a road accident in Ramanattukara near Kozhikode two weeks ago.

It was reported that the accident occurred when they were allegedly chasing another vehicle carrying members of a rival smuggling racket.

Ayanki is allegedly linked to one of these gangs.PTI TGB SS PTI PTI

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