Thiruvananthapuram: The son of a Member of Parliament (MP) belonging to the Rajya Sabha was detained at Kozhikode Airport suspecting him to be gold smuggler and was disrobed as part of the Customs examination.
The incident took place on November 1. Customs officials had received a tip-off that a passenger arriving on the Air Arabia flight from Sharjah that day would be smuggling gold.
During the Customs check, the officials detained the MP’s son and subjected his baggage and clothes to a thorough examination. He was also disrobed for the purpose. The officials continued the check even when the youth told them that he was the MP’s son.
On finding no gold in the youth’s baggage or clothes, he was taken to a hospital for an x-ray to find any gold hidden inside his body.
Meanwhile, the youth managed to contact his relatives over phone and they spoke to the Customs officials. However, all the Customs checks were over by then. As gold was not detected even after the x-ray, the MP’s son was let off.
The MP’s relatives alleged that Customs officials did not follow the proper procedures. Disrobing of a passenger and x-ray could be carried out only with the consent of the passenger or the approval of a magistrate, they said.
The MP subsequently filed a complaint with the Central Government over the incident and has sought action against the Customs officials involved.
Meanwhile, Customs officials said that their real target was another passenger on the flight with the same name and they had inadvertently detained the MP’s son.