2, including Tharoor’s aide, held at Delhi airport for smuggling gold: Officials | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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2, including Tharoor’s aide, held at Delhi airport for smuggling gold: Officials

May 30, 2024 01:41 PM IST

The customs officials said that an Indian national, who arrived from Bangkok on Wednesday after exiting the aircraft, allegedly handed over the gold to Shiv Kumar Prasad, Tharoor’s former personal assistant

New Delhi: Customs at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport on Thursday arrested two men for allegedly smuggling 500gm of gold worth Rs.35.2 lakhs, with one of them having a valid Aerodrome Entry Permit (AER), as part of the protocol team of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, officials said.

One has been booked by officials for smuggling gold (Representative Photo)
One has been booked by officials for smuggling gold (Representative Photo)

The customs officials said that an Indian national, who arrived from Bangkok on Wednesday after exiting the aircraft, handed over the gold to Shiv Kumar Prasad, Tharoor’s former personal assistant (PA).

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Both were apprehended at the time while the Indian national who arrived from Bangkok was booked for smuggling gold, said officials. 

“Further investigations revealed the involvement of another individual who had come to the airport to receive the passenger and assist in smuggling. The said individual was intercepted and a heavy gold chain weighing 500 grams was recovered from him, which was handed over to him by the passenger inside the arrival hall. Enquiry revealed that the individual had a valid Aerodrome Entry Permit,” Varun Koundinya, airport joint commissioner of customs, said

Officials said the circumstances of the acquisition of an AER by Prasad, as a part of the protocol team for an MP, were being looked into.

Reacting to the arrest, Tharoor took to social media platform X and said the law must take its own course.

“While I am in Dharamshala for campaigning purposes, I was shocked to hear of an incident involving a former member of my staff who has been rendering part-time service to me in terms of airport facilitation assistance. He is a 72-year-old retiree undergoing frequent dialysis and was retained on a part-time basis on compassionate grounds.” 

He said the man was a former member of his staff and was employed part-time with him to provide “airport facilitation assistance”.

“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 added. 

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