Thiruvananthapuram: In yet another twist in the Kerala gold smuggling scam, a top diplomat of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) consulate in Thiruvananthapuram has returned to his country. The political leadership in Kerala has blamed the Centre for allowing the diplomat, an attache in the UAE consulate, to leave the country at a time when a probe is on in the Kerala gold scam. The said diplomat is under suspicion for his alleged connections with Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, two of the four accused in the case.
The development comes shortly after two more people were arrested by the investigating agencies in the Kerala gold smuggling scandal on Thursday. The two individuals, Muhammad Anwar TM and Saidalvi E hail from Kerala’s Mallapuram district, according to agency reports.
The two were intercepted during a raid at Kerala State IT Infrastructure Ltd (KSITIL), where Suresh, the second accused in the case worked. The matter came to light after the customs department seized 30 kg gold worth Rs 15 crore being smuggled in a diplomatic consignment at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. As reported earlier by Times Now, the logos and emblems on the diplomatic baggage were forged.
Meanwhile, National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the matter arrested three persons including Suresh, an employee of KSITIL, which comes under the IT Department, a portfolio of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Nair, a former PRO with the UAE Consulate. The NIA registered an FIR under Sections 16, 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 against four persons in the case. The NIA believes that the gold was being smuggled to fund terror activities.
The opposition parties have targetted CM Vijayan for his alleged connection with Suresh. Vijayan has, however, denied any links to the case.