The Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday ordered the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate the Thiruvananthapuram Airport gold smuggling case. The MHA said, “the organised smuggling operation may have serious implications for national security.” The home ministry's order comes a day after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene for an "effective investigation" into the Thiruvananthapuram airport gold smuggling case.
MHA permits National Investigation Agency (@NIA_India ) to investigate the Thiruvananthapuram Airport Gold smuggling case, as the organised smuggling operation may have serious implications for national security.@HMOIndia @PIB_India @airnewsalerts @DDNewslive— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) July 9, 2020
The gold, weighing over 30kg, was seized from a "diplomatic baggage" that had landed by air cargo at Thiruvananthapuram international Airport recently. The Customs department has said it suspected a smuggling syndicate had misused the name of a person who enjoys diplomatic immunity.
At present, the Custom Preventive Commissionerate, Cochin is carrying out the investigation in the case registered for offences under Section 104(6)(c) and 135 of the Customs Act 1962. The smuggled stach of gold is approximately worth Rs. 15 crore.