Kerala-UAE diplomatic bag gold smuggling: ED seizes 5Kg gold from a secret chamber of jewellery owner’s house

ED officials raided jewellers in Kerala and found a secret chamber to hide gold jewellery

ED officials raided jewellers in Kerala and found a secret chamber to hide gold jewellery
ED officials raided jewellers in Kerala and found a secret chamber to hide gold jewellery

Kerala gold smuggling: ED seizes gold and cash of jewellery house owner

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday seized 5 Kg gold worth Rs.2.51 crore from a secret chamber at the premises of a Malappuram-based jewellery house promoter, the beneficiary of controversial Kerala’s UAE consulate involved ‘gold smuggling through diplomatic baggage. The anti-money laundering agency said in a statement that the action has been taken against Aboobacker Pazhedath, the promoter of Malabar Jewellery and Fine Gold Jewellery, both based in Malappuram in Kerala and one of the shareholders of Atlas Gold Super Markets Pvt. Ltd., Kozhikode.

“Directorate of Enforcement (ED) had searched 4 premises in Kerala covering business premises of Malabar Jewellery, Malappuram, Fine Gold, Malappuram, Atlas Gold Super Markets Pvt. Ltd., Kozhikode and residential premises of Shri Aboobacker Pazhedath, Malappuram, on 05.12.2022 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

“During the course of the above searches, a secret chamber for concealing gold jewellery was found in the premises, which resulted in the recovery and seizure of 5.058 kg of Gold jewellery totally worth Rs.2.51 crore hidden in the secret chamber, along with Indian Currency of Rs.3.79 lakhs, said ED in a detailed statement.

The agency said that the jewellery owner Aboobacker admitted that he earlier smuggled 6kg of gold in a similar operation with help of UAE Consulate’s former staffers Swapna Suresh and Sarith. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s then Principal Secretary M Sivasankar IAS was arrested by ED for his links with Swapna Suresh.[1]

“Money laundering investigation further revealed that one Aboobaker Pazhedath of Malappuram is part of the Gold Smuggling Syndicate headed by Sarith P S, Swapna Suresh, and Sandeep Nair, under the patronage of Sivasankar, IAS and was one of the beneficiaries.

“Aboobacker Pazedath had admitted that 3 Kgs. of gold seized by Customs belonged to him and apart from that, he had also admitted that he had smuggled 6 Kgs. gold in a similar manner in the past through diplomatic baggage of the UAE Consulate,” said ED in a statement on Wednesday.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), NIA, and Customs department are conducting separate investigations into the racket that was unearthed with the seizure of gold worth Rs.15 crore from the diplomatic baggage of the UAE Consulate at Thiruvananthapuram airport on July 5, 2020. “Out of the smuggled gold seized by the Customs on 05.07.2020, 3 Kg of gold belonged to Aboobacker Pazhedath,” said ED.

The ED a few months back had approached the Supreme Court seeking a transfer of the trial in the case from Kerala to Karnataka, saying a “free and fair trial” of the case is not possible in Kerala. Though during the controversy, IAS officer Sivasankar was suspended from the post of Chief Minister’s Principal Secretary, after getting bail, the Kerala government reinstated him as Secretary of Sports and Youth Affairs.[2]


[1] Smuggling Gold in UAE Consulate’s Diplomatic Baggage: Former staffer Swapna hiding and Customs picks former PRO Sarith. Top IAS officer’s link to be probedJul 06, 2020,

[2] M Sivasankar returns after 17-month suspension, made principal secy of sports & youth affairsJan 06, 2022, Onmanorama

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  1. Brilliant investigation. Shame on those involved in smuggling activities.

    How much land does a man need ? 6 feet ? (Credits: Leo Tolstoy)


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