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Kerala gold smuggling case: Congress, CPI(M) seek probe by a Central agency

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 10, 2020

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury

The Congress has demanded a CBI probe into the smuggling of gold at Thiruvananthapuram airport allegedly under the watch of the authorities and using diplomatic cargo which enjoys diplomatic immunity.

The CPI(M) has also endorsed the stance of State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has said the matter must be probed by Central law enforcement authorities.

Congress’s communication in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said the recent developments in Kerala have highlighted the brazen attitude and high-level access of certain individuals to the highest echelons of the CPI(M) State government in Kerala.

“It is also likely that the individuals involved could not have done what they did, vis-à-vis the audacious smuggling of gold under the watch of the authorities and using diplomatic cargo which enjoys diplomatic immunity, without the support or knowledge of those not just in the State government but also in the Central government,” he said in a statement.

Given the magnitude of the criminal activity, the influential nature of those involved and the wide net of individuals across the Central and State governments, it is only fitting that the investigation into the entire affair be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation, he said.

He demanded a thorough enquiry by the CBI into the extent of the crime, individuals in the ruling parties — the CPI(M) at the State level and the BJP at the Central level — who may have been involved in the orchestration of the offence and the presence of other such instances which have gone unnoticed, if any.

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury told reporters that a high-level enquiry must be carried out by any agency as decided by Centre into the case.

He said the probe should nail all the culprits and those found guilty must be punished.

MEA comments

Meanwhile, commenting on the issue, the Ministry of External Affairs has said the customs authority had followed established protocol while seizing the consignment and the UAE mission had extended full cooperation in the examination process.

Published on July 09, 2020

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