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ED registers money laundering case over Kerala gold smuggling case

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Kochi: Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday said that it has registered a money laundering complaint on the basis of National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) FIR in connection with the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case in Kerala.

The officials of the central financial probe agency said that an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), which is equivalent of a police FIR, has been registered following the NIA’s complaint in the case.

ED is the fourth agency which is investigating this gold smuggling case after, the Custom, Income Tax Department and NIA.

The diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case was recently taken over by the NIA.

A source in ED also said that its local officials would soon record statements of the arrested accused and the agency will probe if proceeds of crime were laundered by persons involved in the alleged gold smuggling racket.

The case emerged on July 5 when gold, weighing over 30 kg, was seized by the Customs department from the ‘diplomatic baggage’ which arrived by an air cargo at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport from the Gulf. The seized gold is stated to worth nearly Rs 15 crore.

The NIA had arrested the prime accused in the case, Swapna Suresh and her associate Sandeep Nair, from Bengaluru on July 11.

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