New Delhi, 19th September 2023: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday nabbed and arrested an absconding accused in the Trivandrum gold smuggling case in which 30 kgs of the contraband was seized in 2020. Ratheesh, a resident of Kannaur, Kerala, was taken into custody on arrival from Dubai, UAE, in NIA case (RC-02/2020/NIA/KOC).

He was a fugitive member of the gang involved in smuggling of huge quantities of gold from various countries into India through diplomatic channels between 2019 and 2020. The NIA had launched a manhunt for six of the absconding gang members, including Ratheesh, and had filed Chargesheets against 20 accused on 5th January 2021.

NIA investigations had revealed that Ratheesh, an associate of charge-sheeted accused Hamsath Abdu Salam, had collected the smuggled gold from Trivandrum and transported it for sale to one Nandakumar of Coimbatore.

The contraband of 30 kg of gold worth Rs. 14.82 crores was seized on 5th July, 2020, at Air Cargo of Trivandrum International Airport by Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Cochin, from a piece of baggage addressed to a senior diplomat stationed in Thiruvananthapuram.

Investigations in the case are continuing and a search is on for the remaining absconders.