THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As much as 107 kg of gold is estimated to have been sneaked in inside diplomatic baggage through Kochi airport this year, with its end destination remaining unclear. This has prompted the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to take over the case, highly placed sources told TNIE.
Intelligence sources said the gold arrived in various consignments and it need to be ascertained whether the booty had ended up with extremist groups or those who are engaged in floating a parallel economy.
“The central agencies felt the case needs in-depth probe. It’s not just about 30kg of gold. There are a lot of other questions that need to be answered. Where did this much gold go? Who are the end users? Did it go to a single place or multiple destinations? The probe is expected to unravel all these mysteries,” said an intelligence source.
The sources added that the seized 30kg was the largest consignment sent via the diplomatic channel and the other consignments were of lesser quantities. The agencies have found out that since January, Swapna Suresh had travelled abroad up to five times and, on two occasions, she was accompanied by a senior bureaucrat.
Fake currency with a face value of more than Rs 55 crore has been seized from a bungalow in Pune, and senior police officials believe the figure could rise as the counterfeit notes were still being counted on Thursday.
Six men arrested in connection with the seizure, including army personnel, are being interrogated and will be produced in court by Thursday afternoon.
The money was found in a bungalow at Sanjay Park in Viman Nagar during a joint operation by Pune Police and Military Intelligence.
The arrested men were identified as Lance Naik Shaikh Alim Gulab Khan, a member of the Indian Army bank at Bombay Sappers, Sunil Badrinarayan Sarda, from Kondhwa area of Pune, Ritesh Ratnakar from Kamothe in Navi Mumbai, and Tufail Ahmed Mohammad Ishaq Khan, Abdul Gani Rehmtullah Khan and his son Abdul Rehman Abdul Gani Khan of Meera Road in Mumbai.
“The lance naik rented the bunglow for Rs23,000 eight months ago. He was the one who was involved in procuring the money. Prima facie, the owner of the place has no involvement in this,” said additional commissioner of police (crime) Ashok Morale.Lear More
The police also said they recovered 14 wad of notes from the trio in which only 10 notes were in real Rs 500 currency and remaining 2,641 were fake. Three men have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh’s Greater Noida for allegedly duping people by promising to double their money, and fake currency notes with face value of Rs 13,20,500 seized from them, police said on Tuesday.
The police also said they recovered 14 wad of notes from the trio in which only 10 notes were in real Rs 500 currency and remaining 2,641 were fake.
“Altogether Rs 5,000 in 10 real notes and 2,641 counterfeit notes of Rs 500 denomination, totalling Rs 13,20,500 in face value were seized from them,” a police spokesperson said.
“During probe, they told police they would lure gullible people by promising to double their money. They would ask them for some Rs 500 currency notes in order to double it. They would later return them double the number of notes with mostly fake notes except for the one on the top of the wad,” the spokesperson said.
The accused were held in Jewar area and have been identified as Krishna Sharma, Rajesh Kumar and Ravi Sharma, all three natives of Aligarh district, the police said, adding their car was also impounded.Lear More
Ranchi police on Thursday seized a huge cache of India made foreign liquor (IMFL), which peddlers were planning to smuggle to neighbouring Bihar, a state where manufacture, sale and consumption of liquor is prohibited.
A team from Pithoria police station seized the consignment from an abandoned building in Oena village, around 30 km from here, in the wee hours of Thursday and nabbed four peddlers, who confessed to smuggling liquor to Bihar, police said.
“We are still calculating the quantity of liquor. It comprised bottles of premium and expensive brands, which would have been smuggled to Bihar for sale in the black market,” said Ranchi SSP S.K. Jha.
Tests were on to determine whether the liquor in the bottles was genuine, mixed with local brands or illicit.
But Jha said the catch was crucial as it would lead police to people who were involved in bottling liquor in Ranchi and other parts of Jharkhand. “We have to understand the gravity of the matter. Illicit liquor poses major health risks to consumers,” he said.Lear More
Over $1.6 million of illegal tobacco has been seized and taken off the streets by local police.
On July 5, members of the Dryden OPP were conducting traffic enforcement duties on Highway 17 east of Dryden, when they stopped and investigated two vehicles.
Between the two vehicles, police found and seized 386 cases of illegal cigarettes with an estimated value of $1.6 million.
Contraband tobacco seizures in the Dryden area on April 30, May 10, May 16, May 26 and June 3 seized over $1.3 million worth of illegal cigarettes heading to Manitoba and other western provinces, says the OPP.
The Government of Ontario’s Ernst and Yount Report commissioned in the fall of 2018 found that the government is losing over $750 million in province excise tax to the illicit trade, combined with the federal excise tax losses, the total is over $1 billion.Lear More
PITHORAGARH: Champawat police arrested three persons with counterfeit currency and printing equipment on Wednesday. Fake currency with the face value of Rs 4 lakh was seized from their possession. These persons circulated the money in rural pockets.
Superintendent of police (SP) Lokeshwar Singh said, “Police, on a tipoff, checked a bike at Manihargod locality of Tanakpur police station on Wednesday evening and intercepted two persons.
On searching, they recovered counterfeit currency with face value of Rs 4 lakh.” “The accused were identified as Vrij Kishor, resident of Amaria village and Riyaz, resident of Balia village, of Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh,” the SP said.Lear More
Smuggled foreign cigarettes valued at ₹ 1.03 crore were seized by Hyderabad city police on Friday. The contraband was concealed in 503 cartons.
Acting on a tip-off, sleuths of the Commissioner’s Task Force (North Zone) intercepted a goods vehicle near Rishab Agency in Siddiamber Bazar and found huge quantities of foreign cigarettes, which were smuggled into the city.
The team led by inspector K Nageswar Rao apprehended five persons — Vipul Ranka, Jagadish Kumar, Doongarchand Shrishrimal, Pavan Kumar Perthani and M.A Haneef —, who were illegally importing the cigarettes from Delhi via Sarna Transport without valid invoice, delivery challan or even GST invoice. They were selling the contraband to pan shops, kirana shops and petty vendors in around Hyderabad.
Police said Vipul Ranka, hailing from Rajasthan, had migrated to Hyderabad a few years ago. He ran tailoring and Agarbatti material business at Begum Bazaar and was illegally procuring and selling foreign cigarettes.Lear More
MANILA, Philippines — Smuggled cigarettes worth an estimated P93 million were seized at the Port of Subic, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported Friday.
BOC said that on Wednesday, July 1, it seized, through the District Collection Port of Subic, three 40-foot containers containing the smuggled cigarettes, which were declared as LED lights.
The smuggled cigarettes were discovered after the containers went through X-ray and physical examination. Some 3,100 master cases of cigarettes were seized, BOC said.
District Collector Maritess T. Martin issued a warrant of seizure and detention (WSD) against the shipment while the consignee is now subject to further investigation for the possible violation of the National Tobacco Administration (NTA) Board Resolution No. 079-2005, NTA Memorandum Circular No. 03, Series of 2004, in relation to sec. 1113 (f) of RA 10863 otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).Lear More
An incident that came to light as a one-off crime report last week in Kochi has snowballed into a major criminal case with international ramifications. Some of the prominent Malayalam film stars are being used as couriers to smuggle in gold from West Asian countries to various groups including terrorist gangs, if the reports coming out of Ernakulam Police Station are any indication.
It all started with Shamna Kasim, an upcoming film artist complaining to the Police that a group of people who had approached her parents with marriage proposal were hatching a plan to kidnap her with the intention to ask for ransom money.
Shamna’s mother filed a police case against five persons who had approached the family with a marriage proposal. The group had furnished fake identities about the youth and his family. This was followed by the group calling on Shamna’s parents at her Kochi home. Their dubious behaviour aroused suspicion in the minds of her parents who filed a complaint.
The police arrested all the five youth mentioned in the complaint and took into custody five more persons who are said to be their associates. It turned out that they were members of a major racket specialising in gold smuggling, blackmailing and flesh trade. On interrogation, the youth disclosed that they were in contact with many more film personalities.Lear More
Smuggling of cigarettes from Zimbabwe into South Africa through illegal crossing points along the Limpopo River, always a problem because of the tax differences, increased dramatically from the beginning of April when South African lockdown regulations banned cigarette sales.
Authorities estimate that around 30 percent of cigarettes sold in South Africa are smuggled from Zimbabwe including Pacific, Remington gold, Mega, Dullahs, Branson and Servilles brands.
This has been a problem for some time because the South African Customs Union taxes tobacco at much higher rates than Zimbabwe, opening arbitrage possibilities for smugglers.
The ban on tobacco sales under the South African lockdown just made supplying the black market even more profitable, so more people became involved. But a crackdown on both sides of the border has seen more than 30 people arrested in the last fortnight, and the seizure of cigarettes worth an estimated R4 million.Lear More