Thiruvananthapuram: More information are surfacing regarding the gold smuggling through international airport in Thiruvananthapuram, involving customs officials. The arrested customs officials seem to have initially received help and were not arrested even after information regarding their involvement had emerged.
The case was registered only after CBI – Kochi Anti Corruption Bureau sought details about the incident.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had caught 4.5kg of gold at Thiruvananathapuram International Airport that was smuggled into the country from Abu Dhabi. Customs Inspectors, Anish Mohammad and S Nitin were aiding the gold smuggling.
However, the smugglers thought that Anish Mohammad had betrayed them and informed about the gold smuggling to the DRI to pocket the commission. They began to shout and made a ruckus in the airport. This brought out the involvement of the customs officials.
The smugglers handed over a phone conversation to Customs officials, in which Anish Mohammad can be heard telling the smugglers that he had helped them smuggle 80 kg of gold.
The Assistant Commissioner got the statements from those who raised the accusation against the officials on that day itself. However, the two officials were provided protection at the department level.
Though, the involvement of Customs officials, Anish Mohammad and Nitin, emerged on June 4 itself, the officers were only transferred from the airport to the office department. The department did not take any further actions against them.
However, when the CBI Anti Corruption Bureau got whiff of the incident, they sought details of the incident from the Customs and began investigating the matter. It was only at this time that the Customs began to take actions on the basis of the statement given against the officials.
Meanwhile, there are reports that Anish Mohammad, tried to transfer a lady customs officer who was a hindrance to gold smuggling through the airport.
The DRI said that the agency would investigate if smugglers are receiving help from customs officials to smuggle gold through airports.