The Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday (July 9) allowed the National Investigation Agency to probe the gold smuggling case detected at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport in Kerala as the incident “may have serious implications for national security,” officials said.
The decision came a day after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his “intervention for an effective investigation” into the seizure of gold worth crores of rupees from a “diplomatic baggage” at the airport in the state capital.
“The MHA permits the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate the Thiruvananthapuram airport gold smuggling case, as the organised smuggling operation may have serious implications for national security,” a home ministry spokesperson said.
The gold, weighing over 30 kg, was seized from the “diplomatic baggage” that had landed by air cargo at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport recently from the Gulf.
The Customs department has said that it suspected a smuggling syndicate had misused the name of a person who enjoys diplomatic immunity.
Two persons, including a woman, are wanted in connection with the sensational case. Both the suspects are absconding, officials said.