Shiv Kumar Prasad, a Private Assistant to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, has come beneath the scanner of the customs authority for allegedly being concerned in gold smuggling, which was unravelled when a passenger was intercepted by sleuths on the IGI airport on Wednesday for carrying an undeclared chain of the dear steel weighing 500 grams.

The Customs authorities have detained and are questioning Prasad and passenger Dharmendra Dubey, airport sources advised businessline. Prasad got here to the airport and picked up the 500-gram gold chain from Dubey, who had arrived on the IGI airport from Bangkok by flight TG-323 on Could 29, the Customs division stated.

The sleuths are additionally inquiring how Prasad managed to get a legitimate Aerodrome Entry Allow on the grounds that he was a part of the protocol workforce for Kerala MP Tharoor. “The circumstances of acquisition of Aerodrome Entry Allow by the receiver, as part of the protocol workforce for a member of parliament, are being appeared into,” the Customs division identified.

Tharoor took to social media to state that he was “shocked” to listen to the case in opposition to Prasad, whom he described as a “former member of my employees”, “rendering part-time service to me by way of airport facilitation help” and that he “totally help authorities” in taking motion in opposition to him.

“Whereas I used to be in Dharamshala for campaigning functions, I used to be shocked to listen to of an incident involving a former member of my employees who has been rendering part-time service to me by way of airport facilitation help. He’s 72-year-old retiree present process frequent dialysis and was retained on a part-time foundation on compassionate grounds. I don’t condone any alleged wrongdoing and totally help the authorities of their efforts to take any obligatory motion as could also be required to research the matter. The legislation should take its personal course,” he posted on X.

The Customs division formally said that “on the premise of suspicion, officers of Customs at IGI Airport, New Delhi have booked a case of smuggling of gold in opposition to an Indian nationwide who arrived at IGI Airport from Bangkok by flight TG-323” on Wednesday.

“Additional investigations revealed involvement of one other particular person (Prasad) who had come to the airport to obtain the passenger and likewise help in smuggling,” it stated.

The sleuths intercepted Tharoor’s PA and “a heavy gold chain weighing 500 grams was recovered from him, which was handed over to him by the passenger contained in the arrival corridor”.

The gold, valued at ₹35.22 lakh, was recovered by the officers and seized beneath part 110 of the Customs Act, 1962. Additional investigation is underway to seek out out from the place it was purchased, the hyperlink between the passenger courier and Tharoor’s PA, and different particulars of the smuggling case.

Based on Customs officers, 24 individuals had been arrested in 44 instances registered final month, which led to the seizure of 34.20 kg of gold. For the final monetary yr of 2023-24, a complete of 215 individuals had been arrested in 563 instances, resulting in the seizure of 458.98 kg of gold, the officers added.

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar, in the meantime, took a jibe on the Congress and the CPM, describing them as an “alliance of gold smugglers”.

“First CM Secy concerned in Gold smuggling, now Cong MP ‘aide’/PA detained for Gold smuggling. CPM and Cong – each INDI alliance companions – alliance of gold smugglers,” Chandrasekhar stated on X.

4 years in the past, Kerala was rocked by gold scams following the seizure of 30 kilos of gold by Customs on the Thiruvananthapuram Airport from a diplomatic bag.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *