MEA awaiting final report from IT Dept. on Nigerian diplomat

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New Delhi, May 22 (UNI) The External Affairs Ministry is awaiting a final report from the Income Tax Department on the detention of a Nigerian diplomat at the Indira Gandhi International airport yesterday for trying to smuggle 2.27 million dollars (about Rs 10 crore) in cash out of India.

An External Affairs Ministry spokesman said here today that Nigerian Defence Advisor, G.A. Ojedokun, an accredited diplomat in India, was to leave New Delhi for Lagos via an Ethiopian Airlines flight. He disclosed that he was carrying approximately 1.5 million US Dollars in his check-in baggage.

However, under a search and seizure warrant issued by the Income Tax Department, action was taken which resulted in the seizure of 2.27 million dollars in cash from his person and the baggage.

The spokesman said Mr. Ojedokun cooperated in the proceedings and a statement was recorded under oath. He was thereafter permitted to leave as he enjoys diplomatic immunity, ''Further investigations are in progress and a final report is awaited,'' the spokesman added.

The Nigerian diplomat who was bound for Lagos, was 'caught' by the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of the Income Tax Department early yesterday morning while he was to board the flight, said an official 'release' yesterday.


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