Sept 18, Colombo: The Sri Lankan national arrested in Milan, Italy last week for attempting to smuggle four youths is not a diplomat, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry said on receipt of media reports from Italy that a Sri Lankan with a Diplomatic Passport has been arrested at Malpensa Airport in Milan for allegedly trying to smuggle four youths into Italy, it has initiated immediate inquiries to ascertain the veracity of this information.
Accordingly, the Officials of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Milan have met the person arrested and have established his identity.
"It has been confirmed that the arrested person is not at present employed at any Sri Lanka Mission abroad or at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The person concerned does not hold a valid Diplomatic Passport and has travelled to Italy on an Official Passport issued to him on the basis of his employment in a government agency in Sri Lanka," the Ministry said in a statement.
According to Italian media reports, the Sri Lankan diplomat who arrived from Doha with his wife at the Malpensa International Airport, has presented himself to the passengers' control, handing over the passports of two girls and two boys, presenting them as relatives.
It has also been established that this person had held a diplomatic assignment abroad on contract from 2012-2015 and was in possession of a Diplomatic Passport that had been cancelled, upon completion of his contract.