Mystery looms over parcels from Dubai; no documents found

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According to the documents revealed by Higher Education Minister K. T. Jaleel, 250 packets weighing 4,479 kilograms were sent as parcels. However, mystery looms over the claims that all of them were religious texts.

Thiruvananthapuram: The investigation agencies stated that there are no documents regarding the parcels which were sent from Dubai addressed to the UAE consulate. The probe teams started tracing the parcels from Dubai after the gold smuggling in diplomatic baggage came to light.

However, the source and destination of the majority of the parcels remain unknown. Also, the goods inside the parcel were not identified. A similar parcel was carried in the vehicle of Kerala government and was distributed. The gold smuggling team carried out all their transactions without leaving behind any evidence or documents.

Minister Jaleel should explain

Higher Education Minister K. T. Jaleel will have to explain who sent the religious texts for whom on whose demand, who received it. Moreover, the Minister should explain if he was sure if the parcels contained religious texts only and on what grounds they were transported in a government vehicle.

Who sent the parcels?

An official of Emirates, the state-owned airline of the United Arab Emirates, received the parcel at Dubai airport and booked it. However, it is not clear who handed over the parcel to the official, who resides in the cargo village. According to the documents revealed by Minister Jaleel, 250 packets weighing 4,479 kilograms were sent as parcels. However, mystery looms over the claims that all of them were religious texts.

On whose demand?

Normally, there should be a document to show who sent the parcel. In this case, there are no documents stating who sent the parcels.

For whom?

There is no clarity regarding for whom the parcels were sent. Normally, the passport and other details of the recipient of the parcel is collected at the airport. However, there was no clue about who received the controversial parcel at Thiruvananthapuram airport.

It was a customs clearance agent who received the parcel on March 4 as per the direction received on phone. Rs 81,000 for this parcel. Less than Rs 10,000 was paid for the parcels received earlier. The parcel containing 250 packets were taken in a lorry with registration number KL 1 C 6264 and carried to the UAE consulate on March 6.

Among them, 28 parcels were taken to Kerala State Centre for Advanced Printing & Training (C-apt), a government firm under Minister Jaleel, in a consulate vehicle. Later, they were carried to Malappuram district in a C-apt vehicle. One of the parcels was taken to Bengaluru in a C-apt vehicle also.

Protocol department issued no certificate

The state protocol department informed the Customs that the UAE consulate has not informed them regarding any parcels received in the last two years. Even the items for which tax deduction certificate was applied earlier were not informed in the last two years.

The last time when the UAE Consulate produced a tax deduction certificate was for a parcel received in Kochi port in July 2017. The then protocol officer had signed in this. The parcel weighing 4,000 kilograms contained household articles and food items.

It is suspicious why those who produced tax deduction certificates then did not request for the same now. The baggage in which gold was seized also contained food items. The protocol department informed the Customs that no application for certificate was received from the consulate during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 period.

The smuggling team did not leave any evidence of the deal anywhere while smuggling gold through diplomatic baggage. While applying for tax deduction, complete details of the parcel needs to be informed to the protocol officer.

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