30 kgs of gold were seized by custom personnel on Sunday at the International airport of Thiruvananthapuram. The package that landed by air cargo is said to be under the name of the person who enjoys ‘diplomat immunity’. According to the sources the bag belongs to the staff member of UAE consulate general in Thiruvananthapuram. Also, it is not confirmed whether the staff member was actually involved in this smuggling or not.
According to them, the bag was not picked up for 2 days and no claims regarding the bag were made so after taking permission from the external ministry, the customs office seized the “diplomatic bag”
“We had definite intelligence about this. A search is going on and the quantity may go up. We have detained one person and are lookout for 2 more,” said Sumit Kumar, custom commissioner in-charge of Kerala and Lakshadweep.
The custom commissioner claimed it to be the largest seizure in the recent past.
One of the officials informed “At least 13 such consignments came to the country in one year and they all passed without any check due to diplomatic immunity. Some of them were heavier than the latest consignment which weighed 70 kg. We are also probing some events organized by state government departments.” All of these consignments landed in Thiruvananthapuram.
Also, the bag consist of “diplomatic immunity” and name of the person on which custom commissioner quoted “we had a certain question and as per normal protocol, we request them to help us.”
Sources from the airport said that the gold was concealed in a bag consisting of bathroom equipment to avoid the detection of gold and worth of this captured consignment is said to be in crores.
“It came two days ago but since no one came to claim it, the bag was inspected and the concealed gold found,” they said.
A big spike is seen in yellow metal smuggling cases since the prices of gold are escalated highly in the recent period. The past two top gold seizures were seen to happen in Kozhikode
International airport from a charted flight of the Middle East in the past two weeks The consignment is said to arrive from a charted flight.
No one was expecting this smuggle during the time of pandemic. This was shocking for the officers and normal people as well.
On this Officials said they barely expected smuggle scenarios to happen during these serious times of COVID – 19 pandemic and were expecting to have relaxed checking in charted planes but they were mistaken. The investigation is still going on regarding the smuggling and maybe after this incident, there will be more rule and regulation regarding the import and export of goods.
By – Anjali Sharma