In an explosive development, which has put the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left government in the dock, an audio clip purportedly explaining how the smuggled gold that has been stolen by quotation gangs needs to be apportioned has now come out. The smuggled gold that is stolen is divided into three portions and one portion is allotted to the `party’, says the audio message. The mention of ‘party’ has raised many eyebrows in Kerala, with many believing that the mention of ‘party’ could be attributed to the ruling CPI(M).
According to Mathrubhumi News, the team of Kodi Suni, accused in the TP murder case who is presently lodged in the jail, and Muhammed Shafi are mentioned as `party’ in the audio. BJP state president K Surendran has, in line with the same, raised sharp criticism against the CPI(M) government for allegedly having links with gold smuggling gangs. “Evidence has proved that CPM leaders have been operating gold smuggling activities in Kerala. Gold smugglers are conducting CPM’s dharna and rallies. The root of the case will be found in AKG centre,” Surendran said.
The BJP state president added, “The gang from Kannur has links with CPM. It is confirmed that the criminals who are working for CPM in Kannur reached Kozhikode. Another gang from Cherppulasseri also has links with DYFI and SDPI. The presence of Cherppulasseri municipal chairman at the spot proves the political link in the case.”
The leaked audiotape details instructions given to the carrier and the preparations taken by the quotation gangs to steal the smuggled gold. How the stolen gold is to be transported, how it is to be divided and other specifics are also described. K Surendran alleged that CPI(M) is behind the gold smuggling case in the Malabar region like the Thiruvananthapuram airport gold smuggling case.
On Monday, meanwhile, CPI(M) social media campaigner Arjun Ayanki, also a former Kannur unit secretary of the party’s youth wing DYFI was arrested for alleged connection with the smuggling of 2.23 kg gold from Dubai to Kozhikode. According to the Indian Express, Arjun, who allegedly maintained close links with the smuggling racket, had allegedly gone to Kozhikode airport to receive the smuggled gold from a passenger, who was nabbed by the Customs on arrival.
A thorough investigation by central agencies is required to ascertain the link between gold smuggling gangs and the political leadership in Kerala. TFI had reported earlier in March how a scared Pinarayi Vijayan, who was named by Swapna Suresh, the prime accused in Kerala Gold Scam Case, has told the Crime Branch of the Kerala Police to register a case against Enforcement Directorate (ED), for forcing Suresh to give statements against CM.
As per the FIR filed by the Crime Branch of Kerala Police, the ED forced Swapna Suresh to give false statements against the Chief Minister. “…the ED officials, probing the gold smuggling case while questioning an accused named Swapna Prabha Suresh on August 12 and 13, 2020, have forced her to give false statements against the state chief minister in order to make fake evidence…,” read a copy of the FIR.
The gold smuggling case of Kerala came to light in July 2020 and by now, more than 30 accused have been arrested. TFI reported that the scam was being used to finance terror operations in the country. As various reports surfaced regarding the growing number of radicalised youth joining terrorist organisations in Kerala, funding through illegal financial channels seems evident. 30 kilograms of gold worth Rs 15 crores seized by the Customs department was found in diplomatic cargo addressed to the UAE -consulate- General Office in Thiruvananthapuram.