UAE envoy caught while smuggling $2m gold to India
New Delhi, Mar 12 : A senior diplomat working in United Arab Emirates Mission was caught allegedly attempting to smuggle about 37 kg of gold jewellery, valued at least Rs 11 crore, at the international airport here.
Acting on intelligence, a team of Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials intercepted the diplomat of a counsellor rank and wanted to check his baggage when he arrived by a Singapore flight early morning yesterday, official sources said.
The diplomat initially resisted the request from DRI officials citing “diplomatic immunity”, they said.
However, after issuing of a search order by the DRI, his baggage was checked and gold jewellery weighing about 37 kg was found.
“The diplomat was carrying gold jewellery in a suitcase. He could not give satisfactory answer as to why he was carrying jewellery in such a high volume. He was allowed to leave the airport after necessary formalities,” a DRI official said.
DRI officials have, however, detained a Delhi businessman, who travelled with the diplomat in the same flight for his alleged involvement in the case, he said.
“It is suspected that the businessman has conspired with the diplomat to smuggle jewellery,” the official said, adding that he was being questioned by the DRI officials.
The DRI has taken up the matter with Ministry of External Affairs for further necessary action against the diplomat who is likely to be declared persona non-grata and repatriated to his country.
When contacted, MEA officials said “the diplomat will be dealt as per Vienna convention”.
As per the convention, a diplomat enjoys immunity from criminal, civil and administrative jurisdictions of the receiving State.
However, other actions including deportation can be taken against the diplomat on the request of the host government.
Posted on Saturday 16th March, 2013
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