Kochi (Kerala) [India], Aug 6 (ANI): A special NIA court in Kochi on Thursday posted for August 10 hearing on the bail petition of Swapna Suresh, a key accused in the high-profile Kerala gold smuggling case.
During the hearing, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) opposed the bail plea and submitted before the court that Swapna Suresh had established a link with the Chief Minister's Office through its former principal secretary M Sivasankar.
Additional Solicitor General P Vijayakumar, appearing for the NIA, said that Swapna Suresh had a casual association with 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 she 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)