Gold smuggling: Accused wanted to sabotage country's economy; more investigation needed, says NIA
Thiruvananthapuram: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) stated that more investigation should be held in the gold smuggling case centered on UAE.
NIA stated in the court that those involved in the smuggling were turning UAE into a safe haven and that the accused did not indulge in the crime to earn a livelihood. NIA stated this in the court while the bail plea of the accused was being considered.
NIA said that the accused should not be granted bail under any circumstances. All the accused in the case have significant influence and they could destroy evidence if granted bail, NIA stated.
Most of the accused arrested in connection with the case are based in UAE. Some of the accused left the country and went to UAE when they realized that they would be arrested. An investigation is required regarding why they fled to UAE and how they are protected in UAE, which maintains a healthy relationship with India.
NIA also informed the court that the Central Economics Intelligence Bureau (CEIB) had informed them of the large scale gold smuggling activities in the country last year. CEIB also pointed out that the money secured through smuggling could be used for anti-national activities. The details regarding how this money is being spent will have to be investigated carefully, the NIA said.
Some of the accused in the case even run large business organizations. So, they were involved in the crime to sabotage the economic structure of the country and not to meet their livelihoods. NIA asked the court not to grant bail to the accused in this context.
Meanwhile, the court asked NIA if it had any evidence to prove that the money was used for terrorist activities. The court asked why evidence collection was not completed despite investigating for 85 days.
The court asked where the evidence was to link the accused to terrorist activities. The court also asked how UAPA can be slammed against the accused in a gold smuggling case. What is the reason to suspect that gold was not smuggled for financial benefits? The court stated that it cannot overlook the Supreme Court directive to examine the need each time before extending the remand period of the accused.
The Additional Solicitor General said that the Thiruvananthapuram gold smuggling case cannot be taken as an ordinary case due to the amount of gold involved and the use to the UAE consulate as cover for the crime.