August 2020
11:43 AM IST
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Kerala News
NIA gets 8 days custody of 2 key accused in Kerala gold smuggling case
Kochi: Two key accused in the sensational Kerala gold smuggling case were sent to NIA custody for eight days by a special court here on Monday. Considering an application by the investigating agency, the court granted the custody of Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, arrested from Bengaluru on Saturday. The two had been remanded to judicial custody on Sunday when they were brought here and produced before the court by the National Investigation Agency, probing the case related to attempt to smuggle over 30 kg gold using diplomatic channel through the Thiruvananthapuram airport.

Seeking 10 day custody of the accused, the NIA submitted that certain recoveries were made based on their confessions and a detailed analysis of those items in their presence was of utmost necessity The agency also said that many materials which would establish the fringe areas of the statutory requirements had already been obtained and hence the custodial interrogation of the accused persons, which was unavoidable, would reveal more clinching aspects. Appearing for the accused, the Legal Aid Counsel submitted that there was no material to connect them with any terrorism related offence. The counsel also opposed NIA request for 10 day custody, saying it was highly excessive.

After hearing both sides, Judge P Krishna Kumar granted the Investigation Agency the custody of the accused till 11 am of July 21 from Monday. In a related development, the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) Ernakulam sent a man, arrested by the Customs (Preventive) Division in connection with the case, to 14-day judicial remand. K T Ramees was arrested by the Customs on Sunday as part of the investigation into the gold smuggling case. The Customs also moved a plea, seeking his five day custody, submitting that detailed investigation is warranted to identify the key people involved in the smuggling of huge quantities of gold into India, "which is a grave threat to the economy and national security.

They also submitted that interrogation of Ramees was required to acquire clarity on the modus operandi and details of other accomplices behind this smuggling activity, without delay. The Customs had earlier arrested Sarith from Thiruvananthapuram in connection with the case. He has been listed as accused in the case being probed by the NIA.

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