Tuesday, November 24, 2020

NIA probe unearths terror funding link with Kerala Gold smuggling accused Rameez

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Gold smuggling case: NIA launches probe to expose terror links of Rameez

— Consider reading the article NIA probe unearths terror funding link with Kerala Gold smuggling accused Rameez on OpIndia website —

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has reportedly hinted in its report on the Kerala gold smuggling case, filed before the Court, about the links of one Rameez KT of Malappuram to terror funding and anti-national activities. Rameez is the key mastermind of the sensational gold smuggling case that has wreaked havoc on the incumbent Kerala State government.

As per another accused Sandeep Nair, he has been involved in anti-national activities that can undermine the country’s security. In its report, the NIA noted, “Sandeep stated about the suspected unlawful activities of Rameez KT that are likely to affect the security of the nation. The same is under investigation.” Rameez had suggested smuggling maximum gold amidst the Coronavirus lockdown. In another report filed by the security agency on July 21, the NIA stated he had extensive contacts abroad and ‘commanded’ a group of people.

He was first booked in 2014, at the tender age of 20, for smuggling 15kg gold through cargo. Reportedly, his activities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and diversion of funds for sponsoring anti-national activities are under investigation. Rameez knew everyone linked with the gold smuggling case, including the source of smuggled gold to buyers in Kerala. As per the preamble of the NIA, the agency has the power to investigate cases that can affect India’s relationship with ‘friendly nations.’ Reportedly, UAE had recalled its top diplomat Rashed Khamis Ali Musaiqri Alshemeli, former in-charge of the consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, in the aftermath of the case.

Rameez would travel to Dubai frequently

According to a senior Intelligence officer, the mastermind of the gold smuggling racket would frequently travel to Gulf countries on a visiting visa under the pretext of doing a job or running a business. However, the investigation into the case has revealed that he did not own any business there. Reportedly, Rameez would live in Dubai for two months and would return to India for a brief period. The investigation officer informed that the record of frequent travellers such as Rameez to foreign nations is maintained by the Customs Department. NIA is now seeking his custody, besides the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Gold smuggling scandal linked to Anti-CAA riots

Earlier, central investigative agencies, under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), reportedly had been probing whether the proceeds from the gold smuggling case were used to fund protests against the humanitarian Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019. As per reports, a youth from Kerala was nabbed in UP in connection to the case. Reportedly, he had revealed critical information about the funding of these protests.

Speaking to the New Indian Express, an intelligence official informed that investigative agencies have found the connection of a few Keralites with organisations in the Gulf States, which funded the violent protests. “We’ve analysed the evidence, and gold smuggling is one of the fundraising sources,” the official claimed. NIA has also reportedly received tip-offs about the funding of anti-national activities through the gold smuggling racket.

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