Customs to question Shafi

The Customs (Preventive), Kochi, has asked Mohammed Shafi, convict in the murder of Revolutionary Marxist Party leader T.P. Chandrasekharan, to appear before it on Wednesday in connection with the agency’s probe in the Karipur gold smuggling case.

Shafi is on parole and is expected to turn up for interrogation. Arjun Ayanki of Kannur, an accused in the gold smuggling case, had told investigating officials that he had the backing of Shafi and ‘Kodi’ Suni, who had also been convicted in the murder of Chandrasekharan. The intelligence gathered by the Customs revealed that gold smuggling gangs operating from Kannur had received patronage from Suni and Shafi.

The Customs (Preventive) wing had searched Shafi’s house near Mahe on July 3. It had recovered certain electronic devices that required further analysis. The residence of Suni was found locked.

Meanwhile, the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) here rejected a request application by the Customs to extend the custody of Arjun Ayanki by one more week. The accused was produced before the court in the afternoon after his initial custody period of seven days expired on Tuesday. The accused informed the court that he was allegedly tortured by investigating officials.

The Customs denied the allegations while stating that a joint interrogation of Arjun Ayanki and Mohammed Shafeeque, held for smuggling gold at the Karipur airport on June 21, was required for the progress of the investigation into the gold smuggling rackets in the State.

The probe team, which questioned Arjun Ayanki’s wife on Tuesday, told the court that she denied the statement of the accused that he had received financial help from her mother.

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