Kerala gold smuggling case: ED seizes assets worth Rs 1.13 crore, gold after fresh searches

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Enforcement Directorate | Photo: PTI

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday said it has seized seven immovable properties valued at Rs 1.13 crore and gold worth Rs 27.65 lakh after its recent searches in connection with the alleged smuggling of gold into Kerala through a diplomatic baggage.

The federal probe agency said four premises in Kerala and Tamil Nadu were raided on April 13 and these belonged to Nandu alias Nandagopal, the proprietor of KGN Bullion, Samju TM and his father-in-law Shamsudheen.

Seven immovable properties worth Rs 1.13 crore and gold worth Rs 27.65 lakh were found and seized during these searches, it said.

"The statement of Samju TM was recorded wherein he admitted that he had procured 4,500 grams of smuggled gold from Mohammed Shafi (smuggler) which was subsequently sold through the shop of his father-in-law to end customers," the agency said.

The ED, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Customs department are conducting separate investigations into the racket that was busted with the seizure of 30.24 kg gold worth about Rs 15 crore from the diplomatic baggage of the UAE Consulate at Thiruvananthapuram airport on July 5, 2020.

The ED had arrested the prime accused in this case Swapna Suresh and Sarith P S -- former employees at the UAE consulate in Kerala -- and Sandeep Nair, apart from M Sivasankar, an IAS officer and former principal secretary to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The agency filed a charge sheet against them under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), followed by a supplementary prosecution complaint. PTI

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