Kochi (Kerala) [India], July 16 (ANI): Kerala High Court on Friday postponed the bail plea of Kerala Gold Smuggling case accused including, Swapna Suresh, to July 29.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) submitted a counter affidavit in the court stating that the accused in the case, committed a terrorist act by smuggling gold into India from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The agency informed the court that a request under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) has been sent to UAE for obtaining evidence of the transactions that occurred there, especially through reverse hawala and purchase of smuggled gold.
NIA further submitted before the bench of Justices K Vinod Chandran and Ziyad Rahman AA: "Investigation conducted by NIA has established that accused Swapna Suresh, Sarith PS, and others jointly committed this terrorist act with the knowledge that their act of smuggling of gold into India in large quantity would threaten the security and economic security of the country, destabilize the Indian economy and damage the friendly relations with UAE."
"They conspired, recruited people, and formed a terrorist group that raised funds and smuggled around 167 kg of gold from UAE from November 2019 to June 2020, through import cargo addressed to the diplomats at the Consulate General of UAE at Thiruvananthapuram," the NIA submitted.
Swapna Suresh had challenged the verdict of the Special NIA Court which dismissed her bail plea earlier.
According to the petition, "The allegations raised against the petitioner would not attract any offence under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and that the charge sheet does not disclose sufficient material evidence to connect her with the alleged gold smuggling."
"On bail petition filed by the accused in another Gold Smuggling Case, that gold smuggling is not a UAPA offence and is to be dealt under Customs Act. The bar under UAPA in granting bail was wrongly interpreted by the lower court in a manner prejudicial to her. While the said provision in UAPA gives discretion to the court in granting bail, it should not have been interpreted as prohibition in granting bail," the petition read. (ANI)