NIA to probe Kerala gold smuggling racket, Home Ministry gives nod
New Delhi: The Home Ministry on Thursday asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate the Kerala gold smuggling case.
“The MHA permits the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate the Thiruvananthapuram airport gold smuggling case, as the organised smuggling operation may have serious implications for national security,” a home ministry spokesperson said.
MHA permits National Investigation Agency (@NIA_India ) to investigate the Thiruvananthapuram Airport Gold smuggling case, as the organised smuggling operation may have serious implications for national security.@HMOIndia @PIB_India @airnewsalerts @DDNewslive
— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) July 9, 2020
The home ministry’s order comes a day after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene for an “effective investigation” into the Thiruvananthapuram airport gold smuggling case.
Gold smuggling row puts Kerala govt on backfoot
Vijayan in his letter had said that the case needs to be investigated because it has serious implications of undermining the country’s economy.
The smuggling racket came to light on Sunday when the Customs department seized 30 kg gold from an air cargo consignment from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the country’s consulate in the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram.
Following huge uproar over gold smuggling racket, the CM also sacked his secretary M Sivasankar.
What is the gold smuggling case in Kerala
Swapna Suresh is the prime accused in the gold smuggling racket, which was busted on Sunday after customs officials seized 30 kgs of gold from a diplomatic baggage addresses to the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.
It was later discovered that former employees of the consulate Swapna Suresh and Sarith Nair were involved in the gold smuggling. Both the accused were employees of the Consulate until six months ago.
The gold, which was a part of a diplomatic consignment, had arrived at the Thiruvananthapuram airport.