In an affidavit filed before the Chief Judicial magistrate (Economic Offences), Ernakulam, the Superintendent of Customs, Vivek V has revealed that Mohammed Shafeeque Melathil, of Malappuram who was nabbed as part of the investigation into the Gold Smuggling – Snatching Case, has disclosed sensational information about the case.
Shafeeque was produced before the magistrate and Customs has reported to the judge that the accused has cooperated with the investigation and has revealed many facts and clinching evidence in the case. The accused has also stated about the involvement of a number of persons from Koduvally, Calicut and Kannur who run a well organised smuggling network from Dubai.
The statements of the accused has also brought out the fact that gangs operate within gangs to steal the smuggled gold and further sell such gold through hawala channels. The statement of the accused brings out the fact that members of one gang recruits men from other gangs as informers. These gangs then deploy criminals to abduct the carrier and physically assault him and steal the smuggled gold. A number of cases of such abductions and physical assaults have been registered by the Kerala Police.
The accused during the course of interrogation has deposed that there was a third gang who had come to the airport to receive the smuggled gold and he has also deposed that this was due to a gang rivalry between Arjun Ayanki and another person.
During the course of investigation the accused had revealed that the gangs operated by Arjun Ayanki had informed him that N.K.Sunil Kumar, alias Kodi Suni and Shali K.K. alias Shafi, who were convicted for life imprisonment for a murder case, are there to back Arjun and Shafeeque will be extended all protection, if the Koduvally gang threatens him.
Customs department also told the judge that investigations have revealed that a passenger who was recruited by a gang from Koduvally was turned over by a gang led by Arjun Ayanki and was later turned over by another gang to whom Shafeeque was supposed to hand over the smuggled gold. Thus there were 3 gangs which had reached Karipur Airport on 21st June 2021 to snatch the smuggled gold.
Customs department said that there are numerous instances where the criminal gangs had abducted wrong passengers and brutally assaulted them. This tendency of the gangs who are mostly operating in and around the airport area is causing a huge threat to the life of normal passengers.
The accused has deposed that he is facing life threat from the Cherpulassery gang while he was in judicial custody at Manjeri Sub Jail. Shafeeque has also identified the photo of the person who had threatened him. The judge told Shafeeque to give in writing that he was facing a threat to his life. He was shifted to Kakanad jail and remanded to custody.