MALAPPURAM: Three customs superintendents who had been working at Kozhikode airport were suspended based on a case in which a large quantity of seized gold went missing from their custody. The customs preventive department in Kochi took action against the officials following an investigation based on an allegation that the customs superintendents are responsible for the incident. However, the department is yet to reveal the involvement of the superintendents in the case. The department only revealed that an investigation has begun.
“A passenger tried to smuggle gold by hiding it inside a mike on November 14. The customs superintendents seized the gold. When senior officials checked the mike again after some days, the yellow metal was not inside. The customs preventive department launched an investigation into the incident and suspended the three customs superintendents who were responsible to protect it,” said a source with the customs. The suspended superintendents are aged below 30 years of age and hail from North India.
However, Malabar Development Forum (MDF), an organisation that works for the development of Malabar region, has levelled serious allegations against the customs. Its president K M Basheer said the officials at the airport had robbed the seized gold.“Around 1,200 grams of gold concealed inside a mike was seized from a passenger who arrived at the airport from UAE on November 14. But the gold inside the mike later went missing. It seems that the higher officials with the customs received evidence that establish the involvement of the customs officials behind the theft. The CBI should investigate this incident,” K M Basheer said.
He alleged that some customs officials at the airport help smuggle a large quantity of gold through the airport. A detailed investigation should also be conducted by the department concerned on the matter.