Caught smuggling gold, Afghan Consul General in Mumbai resigns

Zakia Wardak, Afghanistan’s Consul General in Mumbai, attributed her decision to “personal attacks and defamation”

Published - May 04, 2024 09:36 pm IST - Mumbai

Afghanistan Consul General in Mumbai Zakia Wardak has resigned from her post on Saturday. Her move comes within ten days after being reportedly intercepted by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai on the charge of smuggling 25 kgs gold from Dubai.

“Over the past year, I have encountered numerous attacks and defamation not only directed towards me but also towards my close family and extended relatives. These attacks, which appear to be organised, have severely impacted my ability to effectively operate in my role and have demonstrated the challenges faced by women in Afghan society who strive to modernise and bring positive change amidst ongoing propaganda campaigns,” Ms. Wardak announced in a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter).

She claimed that she is prepared for attacks on herself, but not for those on her close ones, as such attacks are “unwarranted and horribly unfair experiences”. She also said that the barbs against her “have surpassed a tolerable threshold”.

“It has become increasingly clear that the public narrative is unfairly targeting the only female representative within this system, rather than focussing on constructive assistance and support,” her statement read, and hopes that women in leadership roles are supported and respected.

Reportedly, Ms. Wardak was flying in from Dubai with her son and chose the green channel to step out of the airport. A pat-down search had revealed gold bars in her jacket, leggings, knee caps, and belt. Given her status as a diplomat, the consequent immunity allowed her to prevent arrest. As per the Customs Act, 1962, an individual smuggling gold above the value of ₹1 crore is to be arrested and criminally prosecuted. Gold worth ₹18.60 crore was recovered from Ms. Wardak.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.