Express News Service
KOCHI: Malayalam films depicting gold smugglers in heroic mould have drawn massive audiences. But in real life, there is no hard evidence of any unholy nexus between Mollywood and this syndicate. With the Shamna Kasim case sparking renewed interest on the issue, Express examines the topic upclose
in I V Sasi’s 1983 release Iniyenkilum, the narrative has a major sequence in which the antagonists rope in members of a cultural troupe staging shows abroad to smuggle in foreign goods. There have been several Malayalam movies where ‘smuggling’ and ‘smuggler’ were shown in either white or grey — Tharadas, Alexander, Sobharaj, and Sagar Alias Jackey who says, “Narcotics is a dirty business.” Their gripping plot and compelling portrayal meant that many heroes were born on celluloid.Apart from the gold ‘deals’ and ‘gold biscuits’ shown on screen, tinsel town was never directly linked to the ‘shady’ business till the beginning of this decade. But 2013 changed that forever.
The involvement of gold smugglers in the film industry came to light following the arrest of T K Fayaz, a Mahe native. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) which got wind of the racket found that Fayaz had close links with several actors and models. He also appeared in a song sequence in Sringaravelan (2013). According to the officers, Fayaz also had close contacts with actors in Tamil Nadu and police officers in the state.
Now, with the blackmailing case in which a group of impostors allegedly targeted actor Shamna Kasim, the gold smuggling syndicates’ connections with Mollywood have become a talking point yet again. Though enforcement agencies like Customs and DRI could not establish a direct link between the film industry and gold smugglers, officials believe that the sector is an easy platform for smugglers to engage in money laundering activities.
When TNIE sought the reaction of some technicians and actors on the issue, they preferred not to comment. “It is not reluctance. There have been past incidents in which the names of some actors were dragged into similar cases. But there were no popular names among them and they had not established themselves in the industry. If police are aware of the details or have hard evidence to establish the alleged unholy nexus, they should carry out a comprehensive probe to unearth the facts.
But keeping the public guessing which will only results in wild speculation that brings everyone, who organises/stages shows in the Gulf, under a cloud is not good,” said a producer on condition of anonymity. Meanwhile, officials believe that everything is not ‘white’ and the connection between the glam world of film and fashion and ‘gold deals’ cannot be easily shrugged off. They also said the CBI, which registered another case against Fayaz over the involvement of Customs officers in the smuggling activity, had recorded the statement of…
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