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NIA permitted to probe Kerala gold smuggling case

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Kochi, July 09: The Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday permitted National Investigation Agency to investigate the Kerala Gold smuggling case, as the organised smuggling operation may have serious implications for national security.

NIA permitted to probe Kerala gold smuggling case

The decision came a day after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his "intervention for an effective investigation" into the seizure of gold worth crores of rupees from a "diplomatic baggage" at the airport in the state capital.

"The MHA permits the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate the Thiruvananthapuram airport gold smuggling case, as the organised smuggling operation may have serious implications for national security," a home ministry spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Central agencies have sought the "assistance" of Kerala police in finding out the whereabouts of a woman, a former employee of a foreign country''s consulate in the state, wanted in connection with the sensational gold smuggling case.

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    Sources privy to the development told PTI that central agencies have "written" to the state police seeking its "technical assistance" in tracking down two absconding persons--a woman and her friend-- who are wanted in connection with the case.

    The Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had on Wednesday shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his "intervention for an effective investigation" into the seizure of gold worth crores of rupees from a "diplomatic baggage" at Thiruvananthapuram international airport.

    Meanwhile, the absconding woman, who is suspected to be a prime accused in the case, has moved the Kerala High Court seeking anticipatory bail.

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    The woman moved the bail application via online on Wednesday night. The gold, weighing over 30kg, was seized from a "diplomatic baggage" that had landed by air cargo at Thiruvananthapuram international Airport recently.

    The Customs department has said it suspected a smuggling syndicate had misused the name of a person who enjoys diplomatic immunity.

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