Gold. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: A former employee of the UAE Consulate in Kerala, who had been fired for misconduct, was behind the gold smuggling attempt in a diplomatic baggage addressed to the mission, the UAE Embassy in India has announced.

The UAE Embassy revealed this in a statement to Gulf News late on Sunday night after reports in the Indian media earlier in the day said customs officials in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram airport had seized a large haul of gold being smuggled in a diplomatic baggage addressed to the UAE Consulate in the state’s capital.

The baggage arrived by air cargo and contained around 30-kg of gold inside a parcel, according to reports in Indian media.

‘Mission, employees had no role’

The Embassy of the UAE in India said in the statement that it utterly condemns the attempted misuse of diplomatic channels by an individual engaged in smuggling activity.

It stated: “The Embassy firmly rejected such acts and unequivocally affirms that the mission and its diplomatic staff had no role in this matter,”

Initial inquiries conducted by the mission revealed that a former locally hired employee of the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram was responsible for this act.

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“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,” it explained.

“The UAE looks forward to fully cooperating with Indian customs authorities to thoroughly investigate this matter and urges stringent legal action against those involved,” the statement added.

Earlier on Sunday, the UAE Ambassador to India, Dr. Ahmad Abdul Rahman Al Banna had told Gulf News that he would be coordinating with local officials in Kerala to get further updates on the investigation.

“We don’t know anything about it. Anyone sending anything to the consulate doesn’t mean that it is ours. It is nonsense [to think like that],” he had said soon after he received information about the incident.