Updated: August 11, 2021 5:55:16 pm
A total of 1,820.234 kg of gold worth Rs 616.20 crore has been seized in Kerala in the last five years in 3,166 cases of smuggling of the precious metal, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said in the Lok Sabha on Monday, citing government data.
Of this, 429.93 kg of gold worth Rs 186.14 crore was seized in 684 cases in 2020, while 726.31 kg of gold worth Rs 241.67 crore was seized in 1,076 cases in 2019, the data showed. A total of 904 persons have been arrested in the gold smuggling cases in Kerala over the last five years.
In 2020, a gold smuggling case had snowballed into a crisis for the CPI(M)-led state government in the run-up to the Assembly polls in April. The case has its origin in the seizure of 30 kg of 24-carat gold worth Rs 14.82 crore at Thiruvananthapuram international airport last year by the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate.
The consignment was allegedly camouflaged as diplomatic baggage sent from the UAE. Later, the NIA and Enforcement Directorate took up the probe, which had led to the arrest of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s Principal Secretary M Sivasankar, ex-UAE consulate employee Swapna Suresh and others.
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