Kozhikode airport gold smuggling case: Court sends Arjun Aayanki to custody of Customs dept till July 6

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Kochi (Kerala) [India], June 30 (ANI): Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) Court on Tuesday sent Arjun Aayanki, the former DYFI local leader (youth wing of CPIM) to the custody of the Customs department till July 6 in the Kozhikode airport gold smuggling case.

He was arrested by Customs after 6 hours long interrogation on June 28.

Customs stated in the remand report that, "Arjun Aayanki is a major link in this case. He is not cooperating with the probe. He also attempted to destroy the evidence in the case. He destroyed his phone before he arrived for interrogation on June 28."

"Arjun claimed that he reached Kozhikode airport to borrow Rs 15,000 from Shafeeq who was arrested by Customs earlier. But it is a fabricated story. Arjun led a luxury lifestyle though he did not have any job. He is linked with a gold smuggling racket. We got digital evidences to prove that", informed the report.

"The Swift car seized by the probe team also belonged to Arjun. Many youngsters are involved in the racket. They were also used for gold smuggling. More details are yet to be known. The facts that came into the light are only the tip of an iceberg", informed the Customs authority in the report.

On June 28, Arjun Aayanki appeared before the Customs in the Kozhikode airport gold smuggling case for interrogation. He had appeared in the Commissionerate of Customs (Preventive) office at Kochi with two advocates.

Last week, the Customs served him a notice asking him to appear before it on Monday.

Mohammed Shafeeque Melathil, a Malappuram native who was arrested for smuggling 2.3 kg of gold worth Rs 1.11 crores concealed in a coffee-making machine earlier this week from Kozhikode airport revealed the name of Arjun Aayanki.

As per the authorities, a car that is suspected to be used by Arjun Aayanki was spotted in a forest area on the hilltop opposite to Pariyaram medical college in Kannur district on Sunday. The number plate of the car has been removed. The police have been searching for the car as it is a piece of evidence in the Ramanattukara accident and gold smuggling. The car was owned by former DYFI leader C Sajesh.

The case came into the limelight when five Palakkad natives were killed at Ramanattukara on the Kozhikode-Malappuram border in a suspected case of a car chase involving two smuggling rackets.

Mohammed Shafeeque Melathil was held on arrival from Dubai on June 21. He had given a statement before the Customs Department about the role played by Arjun Aayanki. According to the statement, "Arjun Aayanki is the key person who conspired this and he was given a flight ticket and Rs 40,000." This was informed by the Customs to the Ernakulam Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) Court.

Arjun Aayanki, who is a Kannur native went into hiding after the Ramanattukara gold smuggling incident has been reported.

In the report, the Customs had submitted in the Court on Monday stating that, "Arjun had called up Shafeek before departure and wanted him to change the dress after arrival. Arjun had planned to receive the gold from Shafeek at the airport but he was nabbed by Customs. He was introduced to Saleem by a man identified as Mohammed, who in turn was introduced to him by Arjun. He was directed to hand over the bag containing the gold to a person who would contact him outside the Kozhikode airport."

The 25-year-old Arjun was expelled from DYFI last year after he became accused in many criminal cases. (ANI)

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