Kerala gold smuggling case: Congress welcomes NIA probe, demands Centre to involve CBI, R&AW too
On July 5, around 30 kg gold worth Rs 15 crore, concealed in diplomatic consignment, was seized at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport by the Customs Department.Updated: Jul 10, 2020 09:39 IST
Kerala Congress chief Mullappally Ramachandran on Thursday welcomed the Central government’s decision for National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe in the Thiruvananthapuram gold smuggling case.
However, he said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Central government should also rope in CBI and RAW, in addition to the NIA, for the investigation in the case.
“I welcome the NIA probe in the gold smuggling case. I had written to the Prime Minister demanding an NIA probe. But the Prime Minister and the Central government should also announce a CBI and RAW investigations in addition to the NIA investigation,” he said.
He said that there is a huge racket behind the gold smuggling.
“Some of the officials, including those in customs, are associated with this racket. It is a matter of national security and friendly relations with the UAE which requires high priority,” he said.
The state Congress chief said that a parallel economy that was destroying India’s economy could not be allowed to grow under the shadow of the gold smuggling gang.
On July 5, around 30 kg gold worth Rs 15 crore, concealed in diplomatic consignment, was seized at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport by the Customs Department.
Sarith Kumar, an accused in the case who had previously worked as a public relations officer (PRO) in UAE Consulate-General’s office in Thiruvananthapuram, was arrested on July 6 and remanded to 14 days.
Swapna Suresh, another accused in the case, is on the run after the gold was seized from the airport. Suresh was employed in Space Park and Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited (KSITL), which comes under the IT department, a portfolio held by Kerala Chief Minister.
Swapna was ousted after being named an accused in the case.
M Sivasankar, who was Chief Minister’s Principal Secretary and served as IT secretary, was removed from both the posts.
The authorities in the United Arab Emirates have also launched an investigation in the case to find out who sent the cargo containing gold to the address of UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.
The Embassy said that the culprits have not only committed a major crime but also “sought to tarnish the reputation of the UAE mission in India” and they will not be spared.