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Friday 9 December 2016

Family 'stunned' as dad-of-one held for smuggling gold

Edwin Minihan who has been arrested in India for alleged smuggling of 10kg in gold bars
Edwin Minihan who has been arrested in India for alleged smuggling of 10kg in gold bars

The family of an Irish man arrested for allegedly smuggling 10kg of gold into India have said they are "baffled and stunned" by his detention.

Father-of-one Edwin Minihan was arrested at Kochi International Airport after arriving there from Dubai on Monday.

Indian police allege he had ten gold bars, valued at around €340,000, hidden in his jacket, waistcoat and pants pockets when he was stopped at a customs check in the arrivals hall.

Mr Minihan (42), from New Ross, Co Wexford, works in Dubai as a sales director for Tango Telecom, a company headquartered in Limerick.

Mr Minihan's mother, Teresa, described the situation as "unbelievably horrific".

"We don't really know what happened. We haven't been able to speak to him," she said.

Call

Mrs Minihan said her son had only been allowed a single one-minute phone call, to his wife Laura Kruger, with whom he has a six-year-old daughter.

She was in her native Germany at the time.

Officials from the Irish Embassy in New Delhi were subsequently in contact with the family on Tuesday morning and a lawyer has been appointed to represent Mr Minihan.

"Edwin is the most fantastic son. He never in his life did anything," his mother said.

"We are totally baffled and stunned. He is the kindest person you would ever meet.

"Any of his friends in Dubai would have the height of praise for him.

"He is always doing things for others. That may be his weakness in a way.

"We feel he may have been doing this for someone else, we don't know. But they are putting a terrible slant on it," Teresa said.

In a statement, Indian customs officials said the gold bars were of 24-carat purity.

Mr Minihan has been living in Dubai for the past nine years, where he worked for a number of telecommunications firms.

His family is well known in the New Ross area, where is father Eoin is an engineer and a director of the John F Kennedy Trust.

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