Investigating the United Arab Emirates (UAE) leg of Kerala gold smuggling scandal, a team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) reached Dubai on Sunday night to interrogate key accused – Faisal Fareed – and collect evidence gathered by the authorities there, people familiar with the development said.
Apart from Fareed, who used to send gold in the diplomatic baggage from Dubai, the two-member NIA team will question a couple of other suspects as well who have been taken into custody by the Dubai police, the officials said.
A senior official cited above, who didn’t wish to be named, said that Fareed’s firm was contracted in the UAE to clear and send the diplomatic baggage to India. It is also suspected that Fareed is the one who had set up a network ofhawala dealers and courierswho helped in disposing of/selling the gold. He originally hails from Kerala but resides in the UAE.
The anti-terror probe agency had last month also approached the Interpol seeking a “blue notice” against Fareed. It was found that Fareed had forged the documents – seal and emblem – of the UAE embassy to ensure diplomatic protection for the baggage and the gold coming here was to be used for terror activities.
During its stay in Dubai, the NIA team will also seek details of shell companies, which were used for transferring the money, as well as hawala operators linked to gold smuggling. The UAE authorities are learnt to have conducted substantial investigation already on India’s request and are likely to hand over its findings to the NIA team.
The federal anti-terror probe agency is probing “terror angle” in the large scale smuggling of gold in Kerala.
Apart from Faisal Fareed andSwapna Suresh, NIA has identified K T Ramees as the