Gold bars Photograph:( AFP )
The UAE Embassy has "utterly condemned the attempted misuse of diplomatic channels by an individual engaged in smuggling activity"
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched an investigation into the Kerala smuggling case to find out who was trying to smuggle gold to India under its consulate's name in the southern state and had sent the cargo addressed to it.
According to local authorities, Sarith Kumar, a former PRO at the consulate and one Swapna Suresh, working with Kerala govt IT Company were involved in the gold smuggling racket. A major political row has broken in Kerala after customs seized the diplomatic baggage containing gold worth crores a few days ago.
A statement by the UAE mission in Delhi said, "The authorities have stressed that the culprits who not only committed a major crime but also sought to tarnish the reputation of the UAE mission in India will not be spared. We remain committed to cooperating with Indian authorities in getting to the root of the crime."
The mission pointed out that the, "employee in question was fired for misconduct long preceding this incident. At this time, it appears that this individual exploited his knowledge of the mission’s channels to engage in criminal activity."
The UAE Embassy has also "utterly condemned the attempted misuse of diplomatic channels by an individual engaged in smuggling activity".
Swapna Suresh was working as a manager at the Kerala State Information technology infrastructure limited company and was hired by IAS official M Sivasankar. Sivasankar, principal secretary to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has been now removed and has been replaced by Mir Muhammad Ali. The opposition in the state is now seeking a wider probe into the matter.