Islamic Terrorism in India

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims

Indian Muslims using Karipur airport to smuggle weapons

Posted by jagoindia on October 19, 2008

Kerala, Saturday, Jan 21, 2006
Smuggling of weapons rampant in Malabar

Karipur airport is now a conduit for smuggled weapons, writes Biju Govind

The seizure of weaponry in an unaccompanied baggage from the Karipur airport last week reveals that smuggling of weapons into North Kerala has been going on through this route for a long time.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had seized a huge carton containing parts of various types of guns and other materials, including a part of .22 rifle, 12 magazines, sets of trigger lockers, two rifle rest and pellets. Many of these packets have labels of a company in the United States.

Intelligence officials say that the baggage was lying at the cargo section of the airport for over a month. Sleuths have also arrested a person hailing from Palakkad in connection with the case. A court in Kochi dealing with these cases has remanded him to judicial custody at the Viyyur Central Jail in Thrissur district.

Officials have not been able to find out for whom the weapons had been brought to the State. One of the versions given by the accused during police interrogations is that weapons had good demand and would fetch handsome profits.

Senior officials of the Central agencies say that one thing is clear — Karipur airport has become a transit point for smuggling weapons into North Kerala. Besides, there is a demand for weapons in the State. Since rifles and semi-automatic sub-machine guns are available in the open market in many countries, these can easily be dispatched to India via ports and airports, they point out.

The Central Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) have stepped up their surveillance after the DRI officials seized the weapons at the Karipur airport.

Some of the cargos transporting agencies have also been put under the scanner for the purpose. Reports of intelligence officials suggest that weapons have been smuggled through the airport under the cover of bringing toys from foreign countries. Electronic sensors and guns are being brought from Mumbai.

Most cargo consignments arrive at the airport as unaccompanied baggage and these are usually claimed only after a few weeks. The police suspect cargo delivery agencies are behind the operation of smuggling out the unaccompanied baggage from inside the airport.

Earlier, intelligence officials had warned about these activities. But Customs officials seemed to have turned a deaf ear to the warnings. Doubts have also been raised against them for being hand in glove with the smugglers.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials from its Chennai and Kochi offices are still carrying out raids at the airport.

Earlier, the State’s intelligence wing and the IB had apprised the CBI about the nefarious dealings taking place at the airport.

In spite of the rampant smuggling of weapons to North Kerala, the police department seemed to sitting idle over the investigations of several cases. Police personnel have not bothered to investigate the procurement of arms by organisations even after the seizure of weapons at Karipur airport.

The police teams constituted to nab the culprits in connection with the seizure of 45 gelignite sticks at the cloakroom of the State-owned Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus station have not made any headway in the investigations in the case. The Texgel 80 batch of the gelignite sticks had been manufactured at the Industries Explosives Limited at Kadpadi in Tamil Nadu.

A sub-agent of explosives, hailing from Malappuram, was arrested for stockpiling these banned explosives. Frequent raids are being conducted at granite quarry sites and residences of sub-agents in Malappuram and Kozhikode districts.

But the police are still clueless about the culprit who had kept the gelignite sticks at the cloakroom.

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