Representative image.
Representative image.

Kerala gold smuggling accused established link with CMO through ex-principal secretary: NIA tells special court

ANI | Updated: Aug 06, 2020 14:09 IST

Kochi (Kerala) [India], Aug 6 (ANI): Swapna Suresh, a key accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case, had established a link with the Chief Minister's Office through its former principal secretary M Sivasankar, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) told a special NIA court on Thursday.
The special NIA court in Kochi was hearing the bail plea of Swapna Suresh when the NIA, which is probing the high profile gold smuggling case in the state, made the submissions opposing the bail.
Additional Solicitor General P Vijayakumar, appearing for the NIA, submitted that Swapna Suresh had a casual association with the Chief Minister's Office and former principal secretary to the CMO M Sivasankar, who was also her mentor.

"Sivasankar had gone out of the way to appoint Swapna in the Kerala government's Space Park and he used to advice her on many issues. But Sivasankar did not interfere in the release of the diplomatic baggage despite repeated pleas from Swapna," Vijayakumar told the court.
"Swapna Suresh was an all-rounder at the UAE Consulate office. Even after Swapna Suresh resigned, she was working here for USD 1,000 remuneration. She had a say in all matters there. Everyone connected to the gold smuggling was rewarded 50,000 rupees for each deal," he added.
Earlier, the NIA had submitted before the court that around Rs 1 crore cash and 982.5 grams gold ornaments were seized from two bank lockers of Swapna Suresh during the investigation in the matter.
A Principal Sessions Court in Ernakulam district had on Wednesday sent three key accused in the case -- Swapna Suresh, Sarith PS and Sandeep Nair to seven-day custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for interrogation in the matter.
The matter, which pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels, had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crores, smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage, was busted by customs in Thiruvananthapuram. (ANI)