While the Customs has claimed that smuggling by Swapna Suresh was carried out on the behest of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the case beneath the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, has not discovered any proof to counsel the identical.
Sources mentioned Swapna, arrested by NIA within the gold smuggling case final October, was questioned at size.
“At least in our examination, no such thing has come forth. Swapna Suresh has not made any such claim to us. But we cannot comment on any other agency’s probe,” sources mentioned.
Swapna made no such declare earlier than NIA, company additionally didn’t cost CM’s former aide
In its chargesheet filed in January this yr, the NIA additionally didn’t cost M Sivasankar, former principal secretary to the CM. Sivasankar’s title had come up within the case for his alleged hyperlinks to Swapna and he was even arrested by the Enforcement Directorate.
The NIA had questioned Sivasankar in reference to the case final September. A month later, the ED arrested him for alleged cash laundering. It additionally began a probe into a number of flagship authorities schemes which had been accredited whereas Sivasankar was a part of the CM’s workplace.
NIA sources had maintained that that they had not discovered sufficient proof to both arrest or cost Sivasankar within the gold smuggling case.
“The NIA investigation hitherto has revealed that the accused had knowingly conspired since June, 2019, raised funds and smuggled from UAE, between November, 2019 and June, 2020, around 167 Kgs of gold, through the import cargo addressed to diplomats at the Consulate General of UAE in Thiruvananthapuram. Significantly, the main accused in this case had also planned to smuggle more gold from countries like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia,” the NIA had mentioned within the chargesheet filed towards Swapna and 19 others.
The case pertains to the seizure of 30 kg gold, price Rs 14.82 crore, on July 5, 2020 on the Air Cargo terminal of Trivandrum International Airport by the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Kochi, from a diplomatic baggage that had arrived from the UAE. The case was later transferred to the NIA.
It initially arrested Sarith PS, Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair even because it made journeys to the UAE to research the case. Till date, the company has arrested 21 folks within the case.