- Title: Gold smuggling in diplomatic cargo stirs political storm in India's Kerala
- Date: 9th July 2020
- Summary: THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, KERALA, INDIA (JULY 07, 2020) (ANI - NO USE INDIA) (HD) VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF THIRUVANANTHAPURAM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT SIGNBOARDS READING IN HINDI, ENGLISH, AND MALAYALAM AIRPORT THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, KERALA, INDIA (JULY 07, 2020) (ANI - NO USE INDIA) OFFICIALS AT CUSTOMS OFFICE, CARRYING SEIZED GOLD CARGO NEW DELHI, INDIA (JULY 08, 2020) (ANI - NO USE INDIA) (HD) (SOUNDBITE) (English) JUNIOR FOREIGN MINISTER OF INDIA, VELLAMVELLY MURALEEDHARAN, SAYING: "Using the guise of UAE consulate, is being viewed seriously with utmost attention by the government of India. The government has taken the required steps to find out the culprits. Everyone who is associated with this crime will be brought to book." KOCHI, KERALA, INDIA (JULY 08, 2020) (ANI - NO USE INDIA) (HD) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE CUSTOMS OFFICE SIGNBOARD OUTSIDE CUSTOMS OFFICE READING IN HINDI, ENGLISH, AND MALAYALAM ACCUSED LEAVING IN VEHICLE AFTER QUESTIONING THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, KERALA, INDIA (JULY 08, 2020) (ANI - NO USE INDIA) (HD) VARIOUS OF LOCAL POLITICIANS AND OTHER PROTESTERS STANDING WITH PLACARDS CLOSE OF PLACARD, READING (Malayalam): "CM SHOULD RESIGN FOLLOWING GOLD SMUGGLING CASE" PROTESTERS STANDING WITH PLACARDS (SOUNDBITE) (English) LOCAL LEGISLATOR AND OPPOSITION LEADER IN KERALA, O. RAJAGOPAL, SAYING: "Preliminary inquiry only shows that people connected with high authorities, including the chief minister... chief minister's office, they have been involved in this thing. And people close to the chief minister, like Mr. Sivashankar, etc., they are also involved in this matter. Therefore, the party decided that it should be strongly opposed and it should be brought before the attention of the public." THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, KERALA, INDIA (JULY 09, 2020) (ANI - NO USE INDIA) (HD) VARIOUS OF LOCAL OPPOSITION POLITICIANS MARCHING AND RAISING SLOGANS ASKING FOR CHIEF MINISTER, PINARAYI VIJAYAN'S RESIGNATION EFFIGY OF VIJAYAN PROTESTERS BURNING EFFIGIES OF VIJAYAN AND ONE OF KEY ABSCONDING ACCUSED SWAPNA SURESH AND SLOGANEERING BURNING EFFIGIES PROTESTERS SLOGANEERING AND BURNING EFFIGIES
- Embargoed: 23rd July 2020 11:22
- Keywords: Chief Minister Communist Party of India India Kerala Thiruvananthapuram gold smuggling
- Location: KOCHI, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, KERALA/NEW DELHI, INDIA
- City: KOCHI, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, KERALA/NEW DELHI, INDIA
- Country: India
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001CM37TJJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A diplomatic cargo, carrying 30 kilograms of smuggled gold in India's Kerala has sparked a major political controversy in the state, connecting the dots to state chief as well.
Smuggling of gold in the state is a common affair however, what took the particular seizure to the headlines was that the gold, which was worth $ 2.03 million was found in a diplomatic cargo addressed to United Arab Emirates (UAE) Consulate-General office in state capital of Thiruvananthapuram.
"Using the guise of UAE consulate, is being viewed seriously with utmost attention by the government of India," India's Junior Foreign Minister, Vellamvelly Muraleedharan, said on Wednesday (July 08).
Diplomatic cargos enjoy immunity from routine customs screening in India. The cargo carrying smuggled gold was listed as carrying bathroom fittings and edible items sent from a Sharjah-based company. However, the customs still searched the cargo after specific inputs on masking of gold in it.
The name of UAE Consulate-General and the high-profile players behind the matter and their alleged links with senior government officials, including Principal Secretary to Kerala chief, has sparked a controversey.
Kerala CM's Principal Secretary M. Sivashankar was sacked from the post on Tuesday (July 07) following his name in the close network of key accused Swapna Suresh, who is an ex-employee of UAE Consulate-General.
Suresh, now absconding, is a well-known name in the social, bureaucratic, and political circles. She was fired from the UAE Consulate-General last year over a criminal case, after which she landed a job with Kerala government.
The high-level connections of the accused, especially with Sivashankar triggered protests by opposition parties in the state.
- Copyright Holder: ANI (India)
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None