A non-bailable warrant was issued against Faisal Fareed, an accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), by a special NIA court in Kochi on Tuesday.
The NIA informed the special court that they will hand over the warrant to Interpol as Faisal Fareed is currently in Dubai.
The special NIA court had on Monday sent Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, also accused in the smuggling case, to NIA custody for eight days until July 21. The agency had informed the court that the accused forged seal and emblem of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy to commit the crime.
"The documents were forged by Faisal Fareed to ensure diplomatic protection for the baggage. Fareed is the third accused in the case. The gold smuggled into Kerala was not used for jewellery but terror activities. The accused smuggled gold twice in 2019, in two batches of 18 kg and 9 kg," the NIA had submitted.
The NIA had earlier requested the court to allow proceedings for the issuance of a Blue Corner Notice of Interpol (to collect information on suspects) against Fareed.
This comes days after 30 kg of gold worth Rs 14.82 crore was smuggled in consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage was busted by customs in Thiruvananthapuram.
The case gained national attention after the opposition in the state alleged the involvement of the Chief Minister's Office as one of the accused reportedly had connections with the Principal Secretary to CMO who was removed from the post.
The NIA has registered an FIR under Sections 16, 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, against four accused persons, of which three have been arrested.