Kochi: The Customs (Preventive) Unit has registered a case in connection with the distribution of dates and religious texts that arrived in diplomatic parcels at the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.
However, no one has been charged in the case. But the unit has decided to record the statement of minister K T Jaleel who facilitated the distribution of the parcels.
The diplomatic parcels arrived at the UAE consulate without paying Customs duty. However, since the contents were distributed outside the Consulate, the parcels cannot be considered to be eligible for duty relief. It is on this basis that the Customs department has filed the case.
It has been found that the dates were distributed to schools in Thiruvananthapuram and 32 religious book packages were delivered to the state government agency CAPT.
The information obtained during investigations into the seizure of 30 kg of gold from a diplomatic parcel at the Thiruvananthapuram cargo complex led to this case filed by the Customs Department.
According to the Customs, the goods that arrived at the Consulate were distributed outside in violation of the terms for duty concession and also the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).
Customs officials have launched an investigation into all the diplomatic parcels imported for the UAE consulate. They explained that goods that are brought in diplomatic parcels without paying the duty must be used only by Consulate officials.
"We will first find out who all are involved in the case and we will then call them for questioning one by one. A decision on who should be named in the case will be taken on the basis of statements and evidence obtained," Sumit Kumar, commissioner of Customs (Preventive), said.