Articles & Notes — November 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Probe into gold smuggling extends to the film world

india-flagDirectorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials have decided to extend the scope of the probe into the case relating to the smuggling of 6 kg of gold detected at Kozhikode airport recently, into the film field, Times of India reported.

This, after they had received inputs that one of the accused in the case, Nabeel, was using his film producing project as a cover for smuggling activities.

Nabeel, who hails from Alakkandi in Kannur district, had taken a flat at Maradu on the outskirts of the city claiming to be using it as an office for the film project.

“But he was actually using the flat as a shelter for the women to be used as carriers. Many people associated with the film field, including a prominent office-bearer of the film activists’ organisation (AMMA), used to pay regular visits to the flat,” a senior DRI official told TOI here.

The flat has been sealed by the DRI officials and a high-end bike belonging to Nabeel has also been seized from him.

The DRI official said it was not clear whether the movie people were aware of Nabeel’s smuggling activities or were they fooled by him. “But one thing is clear, in their anxiety to make the film they had not bothered to look into the illegal nature of the source of funding of the person who had claimed to be the producer,” the official said.

He disclosed that there were inputs from multiple sources that the AMMA office-bearer had come to the sealed flat on several occasions in the past. “We have to find out what was the purpose of his visits,” the official said.

The practice of using women – appearing to be from upper class families – for smuggling was posing a challenge to the law enforcers. These women follow a flamboyant lifestyle and have connections in upper echelons of the divergent fields of the society.

“They are able to pass off as genuine passengers with their sophisticated looks and body language.

Apart from the two women who had already been arrested, three women are under our observation for their involvement in the smuggling activities. We don’t know how many more are involved,” the official said.

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