Shashi Tharoor’s former staff detained in gold smuggling case

The said the individual was intercepted by the customs and a heavy gold chain weighing 500 gm, valued at ₹35.22 lakh, was recovered from him.


Published May 30, 2024 | 2:48 PM Updated May 30, 2024 | 2:48 PM

Gold smuggled

Customs authorities have detained a former member of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s staff and another person at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi in an alleged case of gold smuggling.

In a statement, the Customs said that on the basis of suspicion, its officers have booked a case of gold smuggling against an Indian national who arrived in New Delhi from Bangkok on Wednesday, 29 May.

It said further investigations revealed the involvement of another individual, who had come to the airport to receive the passenger and also assist in the alleged smuggling.

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Valued at ₹35.22 lakh

The said the individual was intercepted and a heavy gold chain weighing 500 gm, valued at ₹35.22 lakh, was recovered from him. The gold was handed over to him by the passenger inside the arrival hall, the customs said.

The inquiry revealed that the individual had a valid Aerodrome Entry Permit.

The circumstances of the acquisition of an Aerodrome Entry Permit by the receiver, as a part of the protocol team for a Member of Parliament, are being looked into, the the customs said.

The recovered gold has been seized under section 110 of the Customs Act, 1962 and further investigation is underway, the statement said.

Tharoor, who is in Dharamshala campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls, said he was shocked to hear of the incident involving “a former member” of his staff who has been rendering part-time service to him in terms of airport facilitation.

“He is a 72-year-old retiree undergoing frequent dialysis and was retained on a part-time basis on compassionate grounds.

“I do not condone any alleged wrongdoing and fully support the authorities in their efforts to take any necessary action as may be required to investigate the matter. The law must take its own course,” Tharoor wrote on X.

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