Man carried Aerodrome Entry permit ID of MP, say Customs on Tharoor’s aide smuggling case

New Delhi: The Customs Department on Thursday said that an FIR has been filed in a case of smuggling of gold against a passenger and his accomplice, who carried an Aerodrome Entry permit ID which is a part of the protocol team for a Member of Parliament.

The passenger had arrived at the Airport from Bangkok by flight TG-323 on Wednesday.

The statement comes soon after reports of the detention of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s aide at the IGI Airport here by the Customs Department for allegedly trying to smuggle in gold estimated to be valued at over Rs 35.22 lakh.

The aide of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor along with one passenger had arrived from Bangkok on Wednesday, sources said.

The MP’s aide was identified as Shiv Kumar Prasad and he was carrying an Aerodrome Entry permit ID mentioning him as Personal Assistant (PA).

“The circumstances of acquisition of Aerodrome Entry Permit, as a part of the protocol team for a Member of Parliament, are being looked into,” said Varun Koundinya, Joint Commissioner of Customs (IGI airport).

The Customs Department said, “Further investigations revealed the involvement of another individual who had come to the airport to receive the passenger and also assist in smuggling. The said individual was intercepted and a heavy gold chain weighing 500 was recovered from him which was handed over to him by the passenger inside the arrival hall.”

“Gold valued totally at Rs. 35.22 Lakhs was recovered. The recovered gold has been seized under section 110 of the Customs Act, 1962. Further investigation is underway,” the Department said/

Meanwhile, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor took to X and said “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. 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.”


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