Caught with 25 kg gold, Afghan diplomat resigns : The Tribune India

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Caught with 25 kg gold, Afghan diplomat resigns

Caught with 25 kg gold, Afghan diplomat resigns

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



Tribune News Service

Sandeep Dikshit

New Delhi, May 4

Consul General of Afghanistan Zakia Wardak resigned on Saturday after the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Mumbai, intercepted her with 25 kg of allegedly smuggled gold worth over Rs 18 crore last week at the Mumbai airport and registered a case of gold smuggling against her.

A suspect is arrested from the spot if the undeclared gold in possession is more than Rs 1 crore. Wardak was allowed to leave due to her diplomatic immunity. Quitting the post, she penned a long note claiming that organised personal attacks against her had impacted her ability to effectively operate as the Counsel General. She made no mention of the DRI’s seizure but alluded that “numerous personal attacks and defamation” were directed towards her and her family because she was a woman.

Reports said Wardak and her son had arrived in Mumbai from Dubai on April 25. She took the Customs’ green channel but DRI officials, acting on a tip-off, intercepted her and sought an examination of her luggage consisting of five trolley bags, one handbag, one sling bag, and a neck pillow.

As there was no contraband in her luggage, she was taken to a separate room and her body search led to the recovery of over two dozen gold bars from her jacket, leggings, shoe heel and waist belt. The DRI registered a case against Wardak under the Customs Act, 1962, after she failed to provide any document to prove that it was legitimately sourced.

An Ashraf Ghani government appointee, she had contested the 2018 Afghan Parliamentary polls and, as per the London-based Guardian, “was part of a wave of mostly young politicians prepared to fight powerful vested interests at the ballot box despite all the dangers”.

From the previous US-propped regime, Wardak and her Hyderabad counterpart Sayed Mohammad Ibrahimkhil have hung but those at the embassy in Delhi have fled for the West and it is now taken over by pro-Taliban elements.

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