KOCHI: Even as the probe by the NIA is expected to shed light on proceeds from the smuggled gold being used to fund terror activities, there have been multiple related incidents in the past in the state, it has emerged.As per state intelligence officials, there had been at least two incidents in which names of persons involved in terrorist cases were linked to smuggling or looting of gold in the state.
In 2002, when terror activities were yet to spread their tentacles in Kerala, a gang under Thadiyantevida Nazeer, said to be the Southern India Commander of Lakshar-e-Taiba (LeT) involved in several terrorism cases, had robbed a jeweller of 2.5kg of gold. The incident occurred on June 22, 2002, when Mathew Kachapilly, owner of Kachapilly Jewellers, Kizhakambalam, was attacked by the gang barely 400m from his house. “It was one of the first incidents in which the gold was looted to fund terror activities. The Crime Branch, which probed the case, tracked down those behind the incident in 2012. Nazeer and four others having a history of terrorist cases were arrested. The same group was involved in the Kalamassery bus torching case, Kozhikode twin blasts case, Kashmir Recruitment case and Bengaluru blast case. K P Sabir, suspected to be in Pakistan, is the only accused to be arrested in the case,” an official said.
In 2014, the Customs had unearthed a racket, which attempted to smuggle around 2kg of gold from Dubai by moulding gold with alloys, at the Kochi airport. PK Anaz, a native of Perumbavoor acquitted by NIA Court in the Kashmir recruitment case, and Abdul Halim from Kannur were booked. Halim was accused in Kozhikode twin blasts case and Kalamassery bus torching case. He was acquitted in the twin blasts case.
“Whether they were involved in gold smuggling for terror funding was not probed. Halim and Anaz have several cases pending against them. Halim’s name cropped up again in 2016 when a group posing as Vigilance officers looted a businessman in Perumbavoor,” an official said.