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Kerala: Wife of key accused says gold being smuggled for Left-backed MLA

Soumya, in her statement to the Customs, said her husband Sandeep and co-accused Rameez have been smuggling gold for Razack and Left-backed councillor Karat Faisal, and she knew that they were smuggling gangs from Koduvally in Kozhikode.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | October 27, 2020 1:36:53 am
In 2018, Razack had landed in another controversy pertaining to gold smuggling after he petitioned the government, seeking exemption from COFEPOSA for a gold smuggling kingpin Abu Lais, who hails from Koduvally.

The wife of a key accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case has told Customs officials that she knew the contraband was being smuggled for Independent legislator Karat Razack, who is backed by the ruling CPI(M).

The statement by key accused Sandeep Nair’s wife Soumya has emerged in the detention order issued against Sandeep under provisions of the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Act (COFEPOSA). The order was issued by Union Finance Ministry Joint Secretary Ravi Pratap Singh.

Razack is a former Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader who shifted his loyalties to the CPI(M)-led LDF in 2016. He is the MLA of Koduvally — several key players in gold smuggling and hawala rackets hail from the region, which is said to have developed a strong parallel economy over the years.

The Customs had earlier this month invoked COFEPOSA against Sandeep. During its investigation, the Central agency has found that those involved in the racket, including Swapna Suresh and K T Rameez, had smuggled 168 kg gold 21 times over a period of a year before being busted in July.

Soumya, in her statement to the Customs, said her husband Sandeep and co-accused Rameez have been smuggling gold for Razack and Left-backed councillor Karat Faisal, and she knew that they were smuggling gangs from Koduvally in Kozhikode.

Responding to the allegation, Razack told the media that he has no links with the smugglers. “There is a political conspiracy against me. I do not know the accused in the case. I came to know about their names only through media,” Razack said.

In 2018, Razack had landed in another controversy pertaining to gold smuggling after he petitioned the government, seeking exemption from COFEPOSA for a gold smuggling kingpin Abu Lais, who hails from Koduvally.

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