Two main conspirators in the Kerala gold smuggling case, Faisal Fareed and Rabins Hameed, have been arrested in UAE, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing the terror link of the case said here on Tuesday.
The agency told a Special NIA court that this was conveyed by the UAE authorities during the visit of the NIA team to Dubai in August as part of its probe into the case.
It said that during the preliminary visit of the NIA team there, the UAE authorities informed them that Fareed, the third accused and Hameed, the 10th accused, had been arrested and that strict action would be taken against all conspirators," as the accused in this case have attempted to damage the friendly relations between India and the UAE."
The NIA stated this in its counter, opposing the bail plea of seventh accused P Mohammed Shafi.
The agency said the UAE authorities had also revealed that the crime was committed by Fareed and Hameed, pursuant to the conspiracy with other accused arrested in India and missing in the UAE, "who all had knowingly funded, facilitated and smuggled gold through diplomatic cargo of the UAE consulate at Thiruvananthapuram by forging or deceitfully obtaining authorisation certificates from UAE diplomats."
NIA said based on Non Bailable Warrants issued by the NIA Special Court, the process has been initiated to get INTERPOL Blue Corner Notices issued against the fugitives, including Fareed, Hameed and four other accused, Siddiqul Akbar, Ahmed Kutty, Raju alias Rathees and Mohammed Shameer, for securing their presence in India.
The agency also said Mutual Legal Assistance Request was also being finalised to obtain evidence in this case from the UAE, as a major part of the transactions, especially funding through reverse hawala and purchase of smuggled gold, had occurred in the UAE.
"Based on the facts ascertained through investigation in India, evidence has to be collected, during further visits of NIA investigators to the UAE, regarding the source of smuggled gold and the involvement of any other players, inimical to the economic security of India, in facilitating the crime from UAE," it said.
Opposing Shafi's bail plea, NIA said he was the main organiser of smuggling, along with fifth accused Rameez, since November 2019 and had smuggled gold 21 times through diplomatic baggage of the UAE consulate, "with the intention of threatening the economic security of India.''
Mr Shafi had conducted conspiracy meetings with Mr Rameez, Hameed, accused Said Alavi and Hamsath Abu Salam and others in UAE and arranged finances, besides gold at Dubai, to be smuggled to India, the NIA said.
Central agencies, including NIA, Customs and Enforcement Directorate, are conducting a separate probe into the seizure of gold worth nearly Rs 15 crore from a "diplomatic baggage" at the Thiruvananthapuram International airport on July 5.
Several persons, including two former employees of the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, Swapna Suresh and Sarith P S, were arrested by the central agencies in connection with the case.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)