THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as the NIA investigation into the gold smuggling through diplomatic channels is on, the UAE consulate’s admin attache has left the country.
Rashed Khamis Ali Musaiqri Alshemeli, who was in charge of the consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, left for Delhi from the state capital on Sunday and subsequently left for Dubai from Delhi.
The admin attache is governed by the provisions of the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations and hence has immunity.
According to sources, the enforcement agencies had put pressure on the Centre to allow questioning of the diplomat given the gravity of the allegations in the smuggling case. Those arrested in the case admitted that they had acted at the direction of the admin attache. The call details of the accused proved that they had been in touch with the admin attache during the smuggling.
Further, the Customs remand report produced in court revealed that there had been a slew of procedural violations on the part of the UAE consulate office in Thiruvananthapuram in claiming the diplomatic baggage addressed to it.
Customs personnel on July 5 seized over 30 kg of gold that landed in the diplomatic baggage by air cargo at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport.