Crime & Safety

Customs finds north Indian link to Muvattupuzha smugglers

KOCHI : The overall value of the black market gold bullion trafficked by the Muvattupuzha-based syndicate from Dubai may well go beyond the initial estimates of ₹455 crore.

According to Customs sources at the Cochin International Airport, the Department had received intelligence inputs on P.A. Faisal, brother of P.A. Noushad who headed the smuggling ring, carrying out smuggling operations through a few other airports in north India, reports The Hindu.

These operations were reportedly carried out simultaneously with the smuggling activity through the Kochi airport.

“In fact, Faisal had even served a jail term of nine-and-half months in Nepal in connection with a smuggling attempt and seizure of 2 kg of gold at the Kathmandu airport.

“However, the exact volume of the gold smuggled through these airports could be ascertained only after subjecting him to a detailed interrogation,” the sources said.

The operation of the smuggling ring, which had allegedly transported between 1,700 kg and 2,000 kg of gold between 2013 and 2015, came to light with the seizure of 13 kg of gold concealed under the seats of two ferry coaches at Kochi airport on May 25 in 2015.

Faisal, who had been evading arrest since 2015, landed in the custody of the Customs sleuths recently on his arrival at the New Delhi airport from Kathmandu. Based on the detention order pending against him under provisions of the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act ( COFEPOSA), Faisal is currently lodged at the Poojappura Central Jail in Thiruvananthapuram.


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