A few days ago, Kerala Higher Education Minister T Jalil was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate to probe the gold smuggling case and now, a week later, the NIA has summoned him on Thursday. After which the minister reached the NIA office in a private car in the morning. He was reportedly interrogated for four hours. The report also said that high-level teams of ED and DRI have also been deployed in the city. I can tell you that for the last several days there have been demands for the resignation of the Minister and there have been many protests for which some activists of the Opposition have been injured. The issue was also raised in Parliament on Wednesday and the Kerala Education Minister was summoned in all these EDs.
Relationship with the main accused
Earlier, the ED had questioned Binesh Koderi, son of CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan in the case. After the phone call record of Swapna Suresh, the main accused in the gold smuggling case, was leaked to the media, the trouble of the Education Minister increased and his phone number appeared prominently in Suresh’s call list. The education minister later told a press conference that he had called Suresh as a consular worker about the Ramadan kit presented at the UAE consulate. However, his statement has caused him more problems as no funds should be taken without the consent of the Foreign Ministry. Experts say it was a clear violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.
The names of many officials also came to the fore
As the matter escalated, the minister’s troubles escalated and it was later learned that on March 4, the 31-bag heavy consignment weighed more than 4,000 kg and was taken to Malappur. The minister later admitted that he had taken the packets to his constituency and had only a religious book. However, the opposition Congress and the BJP have alleged that the packet contained gold and that Jalil was naming religious books only to mislead them.
On July 30, the customs department seized 30kg of gold from a consignment in the name of an official at the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram. The case was later referred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and at least four other central agencies are involved. Thirty people have so far been arrested in the case, including two senior officers, CM’s principal secretary M Shivshankar and the chief minister’s IT partner Arun Balachandran, along with the accused.
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The Enforcement Department had submitted a statement to the Kochi court two days ago stating that Bangalore was closely involved in drug and gold smuggling cases. Anup Mohammad, the main accused in the drug case, named Binesh Kodiari during interrogation and claimed that he was his ‘business associate’. Kodiri, however, said he helped her set up a hotel and was unaware of her drug business. The report from the Bureau of Narcotics Control further said that Kodari would be interrogated soon in Bangalore. The EC alleges that the son of this communist leader had assets worth crores of rupees and that several organizations were named ‘Anonymous’.