Gold sized by Customs in Thiruvananthapuram airport in Kerala. (File photo)
Gold sized by Customs in Thiruvananthapuram airport in Kerala. (File photo)

Customs official probing Kerala gold smuggling case escapes car attack, says 'hire some professional henchman'

By Arun Jayan | Updated: Feb 13, 2021 01:56 IST

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], February 13 (ANI): A car in which Sumit Kumar, Customs Commissioner (Preventive), who is probing the high profile gold smuggling case in Kerala involving Chief Minister's office former principal secretary M Sivasankar and high ranking officials in UAE consulate, was allegedly attacked en route from Wayanad to Kozhikode airport.
The incident happened on Thursday when Kumar was returning to Kozhikode airport after attending an official function at Kalpetta, Wayanad. Kumar, who escaped the attack has said that next time, 'they should get some professional henchman, not such amateurish people'.
Speaking to ANI on Friday, Sumit Kumar, who lodged an FIR in connection with the incident said "I know, If I don't get them, they will get me. I am not afraid."
Detailing on the incident that happened on Thursday regarding which he also put a brief Facebook post, Kumar said "Yesterday I was on a tour of North Kerala with my formation unit as we were inaugurating a Customs remittance office at Kalpetta, Wayanad. While returning, on the heavy traffic road my security officials and driver noticed our car was being tale-gated by a vehicle and two motorcyclists. Initially, we thought it's some pranksters. Later, they were trying to push us off-road and we took evasive action."
Customs Commissioner (Preventive) further said that once the driver managed to get the vehicles in front they tried to block the car and cause an accident.
"After that, this (chasing) continued for nearly 24 KM, till we entered Kozhikode Airport. We noted down the number with Kochi registration maybe it is fake and we have lodged FIR with police," he said
When asked who would be behind such an act to cause a threat to his life, Kumar said, "It is not the first time, it is happening. On multiple occasions when my staff and I faced attacks, we have lodged complaints with the Kerala police. There are many gangs (related to gold smuggling) and maybe others who want to see that I shouldn't stand in between them."
Regarding the life threats he faces, he said, "It may be the reason: intelligence agencies asked to provide more security to my team. I know if I don't get them, they will get me."
"But what I want to suggest to them is that next time, they should get some professional henchman, not such amateurish people. Though they have planned it perfectly as an accident on a hill is the best and easiest method to get rid of a person. Maybe we just got lucky or we are more professionals than they are," he added.
The Kerala gold smuggling case, which pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels, had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crores smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage was busted by the Customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5, 2020.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), National Investigation Agency ( NIA) are also probing the case apart from Customs. During the probe, the investigation agencies had found that multiple times gold was smuggled to Kerala using the same modus operandi.
All cases pertaining to gold smuggling are in various courts after investigation agencies submitted charge sheet, and further investigation is progressing. (ANI)