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UAE diplomat's security guard attempts suicide in gold smuggling conspiracy

Image of a gold store [Theodore Scott/Wikipedia]
Gold store, 6 December 2016 [Theodore Scott/Wikipedia]

A missing security guard hired by a UAE diplomat in the southern Indian state of Kerala has been found with his wrists slashed. S R Jayaghosh was alleged to have been involved in a gold smuggling conspiracy that is said to have used Abu Dhabi's Consulate in the Southern Indian town of Thiruvanthapuram for criminal activity.

According to Indian sources, the case revolves around an attempt to smuggle gold in diplomatic bags which, according to the Vienna Convention, are not checked by customs officials. Details of the plot were apparently uncovered earlier this month.

The UAE insists that neither the Consulate in Kerala nor its diplomatic staff were involved in the smuggling racket. Officials pointed the finger of suspicion at a former Consulate employee in Thiruvanthapuram who exploited his knowledge of the channels used by the mission.

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"The Embassy of the UAE in India utterly condemns the attempted misuse of diplomatic channels by an individual engaged in smuggling activity," said a formal statement from UAE officials in New Delhi. "The Embassy firmly rejects such acts and unequivocally affirms that the mission and its diplomatic staff had no role in this matter."

Days after the plot was uncovered, Jayaghosh went missing. He had been hired by UAE attaché Rashed Khamis Ali Musaiqri Alshemeli as a security guard, and is said to have been under mental stress after the gold smuggling conspiracy was exposed. Apparently, he received a number of phone calls from the alleged mastermind behind the plot immediately after the gold was seized.

Jayaghosh was found earlier today about 250m from his house. Police believe that he had attempted to commit suicide. He was taken to a local hospital where it was thought that he had also swallowed a blade. He told locals that he has done nothing wrong and was not involved in any smuggling.

Alshemeli, meanwhile, is reported to have had slipped out of India three days ago and returned to the UAE.

READ: UAE failing to stem money laundering and terrorist financing, says watchdog

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