The Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday that the diplomatic missions of the country had nothing to do with the gold smuggling case in Kerala.
Dr. Ahmed Al Banna said the UAE authorities had begun investigations to identify the persons who used diplomatic baggage to send 30 kg of gold that was seized by the Customs authorities at the Thiruvananthapuram airport on Sunday.
“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,” said Mr. Al Banna in a statement to The Hindu.
He said the UAE was willing to cooperate with Indian authorities to thoroughly investigate this case.
On Sunday, Customs officials announced the seizure of the gold that had arrived earlier in a chartered aircraft used to carry material for the officials of the Consulate. “The Embassy of UAE in Delhi firmly rejects such acts and unequivocally affirms that the mission and its diplomatic staff had no role in this matter,” Mr. Al Banna said.
Following the declaration by the Customs authorities, investigation focused on the role played by Swapna Suresh, a former employee of the UAE’s consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, and her possible links to the case.
The ambassador said Sunday’s incident was an attempt to tarnish the reputation of the UAE mission in India.