Cache of 30 kgs of gold seized from diplomatic baggage in Kerala’s capital | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Cache of 30 kgs of gold seized from diplomatic baggage in Kerala’s capital

Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram | ByRamesh Babu | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
Jul 05, 2020 07:03 PM IST

The raid was carried out after customs obtained permission from the Ministry of External Affairs since most consignments to diplomatic missions enjoy immunity under the Vienna Convention.

The Customs and Preventive Department on Sunday seized at least 30 kgs of gold from an air cargo consignment bound for the United Arab Emirates consulate in Thiruvananthapuram. Customs officials said it was the biggest seizure in the recent past that too from diplomatic baggage meant for employees of the consulate general’s office.

Customs suspect that the smuggling syndicate was using some lower level employees at the consulate to make use of immunity to smuggle gold. (Image used for representation).(GETTY IMAGES.)
Customs suspect that the smuggling syndicate was using some lower level employees at the consulate to make use of immunity to smuggle gold. (Image used for representation).(GETTY IMAGES.)

The raid was carried out after customs obtained permission from the Ministry of External Affairs since most consignments to diplomatic missions enjoy immunity under the Vienna Convention.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

“We had definite intelligence about this. A search is going on and the quantity may go up. We have detained one person and are on the lookout for two more,” said Sumit Kumar, Customs Commissioner in-charge of Kerala and Lakshadweep region.

ALSO READ | Despite Covid-19 pandemic, gold smuggling in Kerala continues unabated

The consignment came through a chartered flight. Customs suspect that the smuggling syndicate was using some of the lower level employees to make use of immunity to smuggle gold. Usually such consignments pass without any check. “We have to make it very clear that the consignment was booked in the name of some lower-level officials not in the name of the consular general of the friendly country. Our preliminary investigation shows the smuggling syndicate was using some of them,” he said.

The gold was hidden inside some household equipment to avoid detection and it will be worth several crores of rupees. The commissioner said exact details will be revealed after checking some more baggage and the quantity of gold may go up. He said this will be the largest seizure in the recent past.

After gold prices skyrocketed there has been a big spike in smuggling also. At least, 15 kgs of the yellow metal were seized from chartered flights from the middle-east countries in last two weeks-- Kozhikkode International Airport topped in seizures.

Officials said often smuggling syndicates think that frisking norms are likely to be lax in the time of Covid-19 and there won’t be any tight checking on chartered flights but they are mistaken.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections 2024, Lok Sabha Election 2024 Live, Election 2024 Date, Weather Today along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On