Thiruvananthapuram: The Customs Department has reportedly handed over the reward for the person who provided the information that helped it bust the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling racket, which has shaken Kerala politics.
The customs had seized 30kg of gold worth Rs 13.5 crore on July 5 on the basis of the confidential information provided by a person. The informer is entitled to a reward of Rs 45 lakh, of which Rs 22.50 lakh is to be paid in advance.
The details of who gave the information and from where the person hails will be kept confidential with only the Customs commissioner have the knowledge about them. The gold was seized by a team led by assistant commissioner of cargo Ramamurthy on the basis of the confidential information received by the commissioner.
Customs Preventive Commissioner Sumit Kumar declined to comment on questions related to the payment of the reward.
The diplomatic baggage with the smuggled gold arrived at the Trivandrum International Airport in early July. An inspection of the baggage on the basis of the confidential information that was received revealed the smuggled gold hidden in a box containing toilet equipment.
Those who provide information on gold smuggling are paid Rs 150 for every gramme seized as reward. Half the amount, or Rs 75 per gramme is paid in advance in the first phase.
As 1,000 grammes of gold make up 1 kg, the advance reward for every kg of gold seized will be Rs 75,000. Therefore, Rs 22.50 lakh has to be paid as advance reward for the 30 kg gold seized at the Trivandrum airport. The remaining amount will be transferred after the completion of the case.
The reward to those who provide information on gold smuggling is given from a special fund of the central government. Half the reward amount will be paid in advance after the gold is seized.
The reward is handed over in currency at the place picked by the person who provided the confidential information. The information about the person is kept strictly confidential. The reward is not taxable.