Case of stolen gold, smuggling or connivance?

Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 week ago | 22-06-2022 | 06:00 am

Case of stolen gold, smuggling or connivance?

The case of a foreign traveller who was robbed by people posing as Customs officers at the Ahmedabad airport is turning murky. Discrepancies have emerged over how many gold biscuits were actually taken from the victim, how many had he mentioned in his application to the police, how many did the police register in its FIR, and finally how many were actually recovered from the arrested accused.In his application to the police, the victim had stated that he was robbed of eight gold biscuits by the impersonators, but the FIR mentions that he was robbed of only one gold biscuit weighing 100 gm. However, as per the police, they have recovered 552 gm gold from the seven accused arrested.Given the multiplicity of the versions by the victim, the accused and the police, only a high level investigation will bring out the truth and expose any shady dealings.Airport police sources said that Mohammed Faizal, originally from UP and working at Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, had landed in Ahmedabad on June 7 morning. He cleared immigration, Customs and security and exited Terminal 2 where his friend Abdul Ahad received him.Just as the two were about to board an auto-rickshaw, they were stopped by three men carrying walkie talkies. They claimed to be Customs officers. As per initial information, Faizal was asked to hand over the 2,000 Riyals and one gold biscuit of 100 gm he had concealed in his underwear. They also relieved Ahad of Rs 20,000 and a mobile phone. The two men were then threatened with a 10-year jail sentence before leaving.Faizal had in his application to the airport police stated that he was robbed of eight gold biscuits by the impersonators.Airport police checked the CCTV footage of the area where the robbery took place as well as the auto-rickshaw parking from which Faizal identified one person. During investigation, he turned out to be Rutvik Rathod, who worked for Namaste-G company which handles security at the airport. He was arrested.After interrogation, other employees of Namaste-G, Jitendra Tomar, Prakash Maheriya, Santosh Maurya, Roshan Giri, Keval Vyas and one other person, Shashikant Tiwari, were arrested.Further interrogation revealed that Shashikant Tiwari was going to sell the gold to one Puneet Tiwari in Delhi. Police are yet to track downthe latter.Unanswered questionsTop level sources at the airport said that many questions remain unanswered in the entire matter. If there is a proper, high level inquiry, then apart from robbery, a gold smuggling network could be unearthed.Strangely, Faizal was not caught by the Customs or Immigration at the airport. On the other hand, sources said that the impersonators were tipped off that he was carrying gold.Airport Police Inspector R R Desai said, “We have asked Faizal to submit a bill for the gold biscuit, but he has not submitted it.” It has been 15 days since the incident, but he has still not produced the bill. So, the pertinent question is, whether it was brought in illegally?Inspector Desai said, “In his application, complainant Mohammed Faizal had stated that eight gold biscuits were stolen. However, he said only one biscuit was stolen when the FIR was registered. When we asked him about this, he said that he had exaggerated his claim, so that the police would work faster. However, from Shashikant Tiwari, we recovered 552 gm of gold powder from a plastic bag. We are also investigating the smuggling angle along with the loot.”Sources in the security agency of the airport said, “There is a possibility of gold smuggling in this case.”On their part, Customs sources said, “Faizal was handed an underwear with 8 gold biscuits weighing 116 gms each at Kuwait airport. When he landed in Ahmedabad, photos of him and his passport were shared with the impersonators. On the basis of this, the impersonators stopped and robbed them. They were targeting those who were smuggling gold into the country. A large network can be busted if a high level and thorough investigation takes place.”Meanwhile, 15 days have passed since the incident, but police are saying that the investigation is still underway.Unless a thorough inquiry is carried out, many questions will remain unanswered.

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The Indian Express | 6 days ago | 26-06-2022 | 05:35 pm
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Aviation experts share measures to avert bird hits; what passengers, pilots can do in an emergency
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