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Customs official suspendedin connection with gold smuggling

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Press Trust of India Kochi
A customs official was suspended on Wednesday for his alleged involvement in the recent bid to smuggle gold worth over Rs 4.05 crore through Kannur International Airport.
"Rahul Pandit, Inspector of Central Excise presently working at Customs Preventive Division, Kozhikode, has been suspended by Customs Commissioner (Preventive) Sumit Kumar today," an official said.
He was suspended following his arrest by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in connection with his involvement in the attempt to smuggle 11.035 kg gold through Kannur International Airport on August 19, he said.
DRI officials had thwarted the smuggling bid by arresting four people who came from various Gulf countries.
According to a top customs official, the official suspended is suspected to be the "kingpin coordinator for facilitating smuggling" through airports including Kannur and Kozhikode.
Evidence shows his links to smuggling syndicates and attempt to rope in his colleagues at Kannur and other places for facilitating smuggling, the top official told PTI.
Pandit was earlier working at Kannur Customs Preventive Division from where he was removed by Sumit Kumar following an adverse report, official sources said.
Pandit was later posted at the Customs Preventive division in Kozhikode. He had been under observation of the sleuths since then, the official said.
"We were already keeping him under observation, DRI added to the evidence with us, from his role in Kannur Airport smuggling case," the official said.
Sumit Kumar said the action against the official shows the government resolve to take drastic action against corrupt and anti-national elements in uniform.
"Zero tolerance is the policy of government, immediate action, to send a strong message to corrupt officials and smugglers in uniform," he said.

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First Published: Aug 28 2019 | 9:20 PM IST

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