Customs officials in the Indian state of Kerala seized around 30kg of gold from an air cargo addressed to the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, according to reports in Indian media.
The gold was smuggled into the state on a chartered flight.
According to news reports, this is the first time Indian customs officials have seized gold from diplomatic baggage meant for the staff in the UAE Consulate General in Kerala.
The New Indian Express reported citing sources that the consignment had reached Thiruvananthapuram airport two days back and officials confirmed the seizure on Sunday morning.
"The Customs [department] is yet to make a statement on record in this matter as smugglers used diplomatic channels to smuggle in the gold into the state. It is yet to be known whether the staff in the office of the Consulate General, Thiruvananthapuram, were involved in the smuggling," the Indian daily reported.
“We don’t know anything about it. Anyone sending anything to the consulate doesn’t mean that it is ours. It is nonsense [to think like that],” local daily Gulf News quoted UAE Ambassador to India, Dr Ahmad Abdul Rahman Al Banna as saying.
A detailed investigation is on to find out who had sent the parcel and to whom.
(Writing by Seban Scaria; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)
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