Customs officials at the Thiruvanathapuram international airport had foiled a gold smuggling attempt
The UAE has condemned the misuse of diplomatic channels to smuggle gold to India and denied having any role after customs authorities in Kerala on Sunday seized 30kg of the precious metal that was marked to the UAE consulate in the south Indian state.
Indian media reported on Sunday that customs officials at the Thiruvanathapuram international airport had foiled a gold smuggling attempt after they seized a parcel that was sent as air cargo from Dubai to the UAE consulate.
"The Embassy of the UAE in India condemns the attempted misuse of diplomatic channels by an individual engaged in smuggling activity. The embassy firmly rejects such acts and unequivocally affirms that the mission and its diplomatic staff had no role in this matter," the mission said in a statement.
Diplomatic packages are swiftly cleared at airports. But customs officials got suspicious and checked the packet. The officials are investigating the case.
"Initial inquiries conducted by the mission revealed that a former locally hired employee of the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram was responsible for this act. The employee in question was fired for misconduct long preceding this incident," read the embassy statement.
The mission said the employee in question must have exploited his knowledge of the mission's channels to commit the crime.
"The UAE looks forward to fully cooperating with Indian customs authorities to thoroughly investigate this matter and urges stringent legal action against those involved," it added.