THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Two days after the seizure of 30kg of gold from a diplomatic baggage in Trivandrum International Airport, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) intervened in the high-profile case through diplomatic channels. At the same time, the PMO is not happy with the handling of the case, not in terms of the competency of the Customs in cracking it but the way in which the information regarding the UAE Consulate staff here reached the public domain, sources said.
Though the officials initially pointed out the involvement of only former consulate PRO Sarith Kumar, who is under judicial custody now, and former consulate executive secretary Swapna Suresh, who has absconded since the consignment was blocked, they had said some present employees of the consulate here were also involved, including a UAE citizen. Since the case is likely to affect the diplomatic relations, the Union government, which may take it up with the UAE to get more details, if needed, in a later stage, the officials have now been told to report directly to New Delhi.
The investigation found that the consignment was addressed to Rashed Khamis Ali Musaiqri Alshemeili, charge d’affaires of the UAE Consulate. To make a detailed investigation into his role in the smuggling, the UAE government’s permission has to be obtained, for which there is a set of diplomatic rules.