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Gold smuggling: Three customs officials among 7 accused in CBI case

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Gold smuggling: Three customs officials among 7 accused in CBI case
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Kochi: Three customs officials, including a Deputy Commissioner C Madhavan, are among the seven accused in the case registered by CBI in connection with the smuggling of 20 kg gold bars through Kochi airport recently.

While Madhavan, who was earlier posted at Nedumbassery International airport is the first accused in the case, two Preventive Officers-- Sunil Kumar and Sanjay Kumar Soni, are second and third accused respectively, CBI sources told PTI. CBI has registered the case under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The other accused in the case are: Fayaz T K, who was arrested from Delhi last week and brought to Kochi, Harris, his wife Arifa and Asifa. The smuggling racket came to light when Customs officials arrested Arifa and Asifa, who had managed to come out of the green channel allegedly with the help of customs officials.

The two women were arrested as they were about to leave the airport. The gold had been concealed in pouches of a jacket they had worn along with the burqa. Customs has registered another case in which four persons have been arrested-- Arifa, Asifa, Harris and Fayaz. CBI had conducted raids at Madhavan's house last night.

Reacting to the case against him, Madhavan told reporters he was being framed allegedly by some top customs officials and he had not lent any help to key accused Fayaz, who is said to have connections with Kerala politicians, and IPS officers. Fayaz had contacted him seven months ago asking help for getting early clearance of his ailing son from the Kozhikode airport, he said.

The official said he had introduced Fayaz to Preventive officer Sunil Kumar, who had allegedly helped the key accused later on some occasions. Customs has in an affidavit informed a court hearing the bail plea of the four accused-- Fayaz, Asif, Arifa and Harris that gold bars, valued at Rs 12 crore, had been smuggled through the airport six times earlier.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, NV Raju, posted Fayaz's bail plea to Saturday and that of the other accused to October 1. The affidavit also states that Harris had been introduced to Fayaz at the film set of a Malayalam film.

Meanwhile, the mother of an upcoming television actress,Priyanka, who allegedly committed suicide in November 2011,alleged that her daughter had been done to death by Fayaz and some others who were involved in smuggling and human trafficking racket. Her daughter's death had been registered as a case of suicide as Fayaz had high police connections, she alleged at Kalpetta in Wynad district.

PTI

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