The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday carried out searches in five places in Kerala in connection with the gold smuggling case, its spokesperson said here.

The searches were conducted at the residences of five accused -- Mohamed Aslam, Abdul Latheef, Nazarudheen Sha, Ramzan P and Muhammed Mansoor.

These accused conspired with the already arrested accused and facilitated smuggling of gold through import cargo addressed to the UAE Consulate General, and its disposal, the agency said.

During searches, several electronic items and documents have been seized, the spokesperson said.

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The NIA has so far arrested 21 people in the case so far.

The NIA registered a case to probe the international ramification of the gold smuggling case pertaining to the seizure of 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crore on July 5 this year at Trivandrum International Airport from the baggage addressed to the UAE Consulate in the Kerala capital.

Earlier in the day, the Enforcement Directorate rejected the claims of coercion made in an audio clip purportedly by Kerala gold smuggling case 'prime accused' Swapna Suresh and official sources said on Friday that the agency was digging deeper into the money laundering trail that involves a number of people. The central probe agency has also written to the Kerala prisons department seeking a probe into how the clip was recorded and circulated in violation of guidelines meant for the accused in jail.