Kerala Gold Smuggling: UAE Acting Consul-General at Whose Behest Cargo was 'Cleared' Has Left India

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Raashid Khamis Ali Musaiqri Al Shemeili, the acting Consul-General at the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, has reportedly left for the UAE. According to highly placed sources, he left India two days ago from New Delhi.

The official left India even as an investigation into the gold smuggling via the Thiruvananthapuram airport is still on. UAE Consulate ex-staffer Swapna Suresh, suspected to be a key figure in the bid to smuggle gold, said in her anticipatory bail in High Court that she worked with the consulate “on request basis” and had intervened to get the cargo cleared at the behest of Al Sheimeili. The bag with the gold, which Suresh and another accused Sarith, tried to smuggle in was in the official's name.

Government sources in New Delhi said India has not taken any action against Al Sheimeili, which means he was not asked to leave.

Suresh said in the application that the cargo was addressed to Al Sheimeili and it was on his direction that she intervened with Customs about a delay in getting it released.

Suresh, who claimed she had resigned as an executive secretary at the consulate in September 2019, said, “It was as per discharging the official duty that she contacted the Customs.”

The bail application mentioned that the Consul General returned to the UAE in April and Al Sheimeili was subsequently appointed Acting Consul-General. His number was also on Suresh's call list.