Kerala gold smuggling: NIA probe shows Rabins Hameed ran racket in UAE
NIA’s visit to Dubai earlier this month has revealed that one Rabins Hameed ran the racket in UAE where he used different couriers to smuggle gold to India, people familiar with the development saidUpdated: Sep 02, 2020 17:10 IST
Rabins Hameed, a Dubai-based businessman, allegedly ran a racket that is now believed to have been involved in the smuggling of 30 kg of gold, which was recovered at the Thiruvananthapuram airport in July, people familiar with the investigations into the matter said. The gold was being smuggled in baggage addressed to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.
Hameed’s name surfaced during a National Investigation Agency team’s visit to Dubai last month in connection with the probe into the case. He allegedly used different couriers to smuggle gold to India, the people added.
Fazil Fareed, another Dubai-based accused in the case, was earlier believed to have masterminded the smuggling. The NIA team’s probe revealed Fareed was just another courier for Hameed. The two are under the custody of UAE authorities.
“Rabins Hameed is a businessman based in Dubai, who used different modus operandi to smuggle gold to India. He contacted Fareed for the last consignment of 30 kg gold, which was intercepted in diplomatic baggage on July 5. He used other methods as well which we are verifying,” said an NIA official, who did not wish to be named.
NIA raided Hameed’s house in Kerala’s Ernakulam in August and recovered hard disks and other incriminating material. The people cited above said Hameed coordinated the smuggling from the UAE, while another arrested accused Ramees K T, who is from Kerala’s Perinthalmanna, allegedly ran the racket in Kerala. They added efforts were being made to have both Hameed and Fareed deported from the UAE.
A second NIA official said another team of the agency will visit Dubai again to complete formalities regarding the deportation.
Two more suspects, Sidhiqul Akbar and Ahammed Kutty, are also based in Dubai but they have not been arrested yet. NIA has obtained non-bailable warrants against all the accused
“We believe there are suspects linked to gold smuggling scam in other countries as well who need to be identified to unearth the whole terror conspiracy,” said the second officer on condition of anonymity.
NIA has so far arraigned 25 people in the case and arrested 20 of them.
The agency has said the accused persons “conspired to damage the monetary stability of India by destabilising the economy by smuggling a large quantity of gold from abroad and it is suspected that they had used these proceeds of smuggling for financing terrorism through various means”.
The Enforcement Directorate is also conducting a money-laundering probe related to the smuggling.
The UAE embassy in July said an investigation was launched after the recovery and added “the culprits who not only committed a major crime but also sought to tarnish the reputation of the UAE mission in India will not be spared”. It said they remain committed to cooperating with Indian authorities in getting to the root of the crime.