Kochi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigating the Kerala gold smuggling case said in the FIR that the gold could be used to raise money for terror activities in India. The report added that the accused aimed to sabotage the country’s financial security.

The NIA has booked four people under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). “The National Investigation Agency registered an FIR in Kerala Gold Smuggling Case (RC-02/2020/NIA/KOC) under sections 16, 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, against 04 accused persons viz. Sarith P.S. r/o Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Swapna Prabha Suresh r/o Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Fazil Fareed r/o Ernakulum, Kerala and Sandeep Nair r/o Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and others in connection with the seizure of 30 kg of 24 carat gold worth Rs.14.82 crores at Trivandrum International Airport on 05.07.2020 by the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Cochin,” NIA said in a statement.

“The aforesaid consignment was found camouflaged in diplomatic baggage from UAE that is exempted from inspection as per the Vienna Convention. The said consignment was to be received by A-1 Sarith P.S. who had worked in the UAE Consulate earlier as Public Relations Officer. Initial investigation by Customs Department has revealed that Sarith P.S. had received multiple such consignments earlier as well,” it added.

Further, the NIA said, “As the case pertains to smuggling of large quantity of gold into India from offshore locations threatening the economic stability and national security of the country, it amounts to a terrorist act as stated in section 15 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. Further, as the case has national and international linkages and as the initial enquiries have revealed that the proceeds of smuggled gold could be used for financing of terrorism in India, NIA has taken up the investigation of the case.”

On Monday (July 13), a NIA special court sent Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair to eight-day NIA custody. Both the accused were arrested last week from Bengaluru.