00:07 GMT21 September 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): On 5 July, Indian customs recovered 30kg of gold, worth $2 million (INR 150 million) from a diplomatic cargo addressed to a person in the UAE's Consulate-General at Thiruvananthapuram Airport in Kerala. Days later, the Home Ministry ordered the probe agency to investigate possible terror financing links in the case.

    Deepening the probe into the Kerala gold smuggling case, officials from India’s anti-terror body — the National Investigation Agency (NIA) — reached Dubai on Monday to question several people, including one of the key accused Fazil Fareed who was taken into custody by UAE authorities last week, suspected to have played a key role in financing terrorism.

    A former employee of the UAE Consulate is among 10 people arrested in India, and the NIA has seized documents saved in hard disks, tablets, and bank passbooks during the searches.
    30 kg of gold was recovered from a diplomatic bag, after a search was carried out with the permission of the UAE authorities on the basis of definite information that it was being used for smuggling.

    The said bag was addressed to a person in the UAE’s Consulate-General. However, the UAE envoy to New Delhi Ahmed Al Banna has maintained that his country’s diplomats have no role in the case and would willingly cooperate with the investigation.

    A recently published UN report on terrorism noted a significant number of terrorists belonging to Daesh (Islamic State) and Al-Qaeda are present in the southern states of Kerala and Karnataka.

    According to the report, “One member state reported that the ISIL Indian affiliate (Hind Wilayah), which was announced on May 10, 2019, has between 180 and 200 members”.


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