The NIA Special Judge notes that the available statements of witnesses suggested that the plans of some of the accused was to conduct smuggling in a very large scale
The bail application of Muhammed Mansoor, the 35th accused in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case, was rejected by the Special Court for the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
According to the prosecution, Mansoor packed off gold in shippable formats following a conspiracy with the other accused. He procured necessary equipment for moulding gold in concealment and concealed large quantities of the gold in shippable formats for smuggling. It was smuggled using the import cargo addressed to diplomats at the Consulate General of the UAE, Thiruvananthapuram, it argued.
The defence lawyer contended that the allegation against Mansoor was that he collected the smuggled gold, moulded and packed it in various electronic items and handed it over to the accused, Rabins Hameed. The exact allegation against Mansoor was not revealed by the NIA. There was no allegation that he had either invested or funded the operations. Moulding of gold into any shape was not prohibited in the UAE, it was submitted.
Rejecting the bail application, K. Kamanees, the NIA Special Judge, noted that there was no proof that the accused invested money or that he knew about the channels through which gold was being smuggled.
However, the available statements of witnesses suggested that the plans of some of the accused was to conduct smuggling in a very large scale, it noted.
Considering the nature of the allegation against the accused, the court felt that it was appropriate
to wait for some more time for the agency to investigate the allegations and draw the conclusions.
At the primary stage of investigation, it cannot be stated that Mansoor had full knowledge of the picture that prevailed while the smuggling operations were on. The prosecution has to be yielded more time to collect evidence, the court noted.
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