In a crucial turn of events in the now infamous Kerala gold smuggling case, the Ministry of External Affairs has served a notice to the UAE Embassy based on a 251-page report of the Customs which probed the case.
The Customs report has named three employees who were attached to the UAE Consulate office, here. Of the three, two are UAE nationals and the third an Egypt national.The notice which has now been given by the MEA to the UAE Embassy is with regards to the two UAE nationals and this is part of the procedure for the Customs going ahead in the case.
The Customs, which is probing the gold smuggling case in Kerala, has alleged serious breach of protocols in meetings of the UAE Consul General and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The Customs claims that there were serious breach of protocols in these meetings organised by the Consul General through gold smuggling prime accused Swapna Suresh and suspended IAS officer and former top Vijayan aide, M. Sivasankar, at both their residences.In the report there is also a reference that their investigations have unearthed illegal dealings of some state ministers with the UAE Consulate, as per the show cause notice to three top former UAE officials working at the UAE Consulate — the Consul General, the Attache, and the Chief Accountant.Soon after the gold smuggling case broke, the three top officials in the UAE Consulate, now in the dock, had left the country.
The gold smuggling case surfaced on July 5 last year, with the arrest of P.R. Sarith, a former UAE Consulate staffer, and then came the arrest of another former staffer, Swapna Suresh, who afterwards worked in the Kerala IT Department’s Space Park.
Things went sour for Vijayan, when the Enforcement Directorate arrested Sivasankar, who is now out of bail after few months in jail.