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Kerala Gold Smuggling Case: Accused Claims Pinarayi Vijayan’s Involvement

Kerala Gold Smuggling Case: Accused Claims Pinarayi Vijayan's Involvement

Prime Accused Swapna Suresh was in jail for 16 months, she was released in November last year. (File)

Kochi:

Swapna Suresh, the prime accused in the Kerala Gold Smuggling Case, on Tuesday revealed that she has declared in court about the involvement of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, his wife and daughter in the matter.

“I have already given 164 statements in court about a threat to my life. I have declared in court about all the people involved in this case. I have also filed a petition seeking protection in court. They are considering it. I have declared in the court about what is the involvement of M Sivasankar (then principal secretary to Kerala CMO), the Chief Minister, CM’s wife Kamala, CM’s daughter Veena, his secretary CM Raveendran, then Chief Secretary Nalini Netto IAS, then minister KT Jaleel,” she said.

Swapna claimed that a baggage containing currency was sent to Mr Vijayan when he was in Dubai in 2016.

“Way back in 2016, M Sivasankar contacted me while the Chief Minister was in Dubai. At that time, I was the secretary at the consulate. M Sivasankar told me that the CM had forgotten a bag which should be delivered to Dubai immediately. As per the instruction of the consulate general, the bag was handed over to a diplomat at the consulate. When the bag was brought in by the consulate official, we realised that it contained currency. We have a scanning machine in the consulate. Then we have to scan whatever parcel arrives there. That’s how it all started,” she added.

She said that she only followed the instructions of Mr Sivasankar and did what he said to her.

“Surprisingly, we have delivered biriyani vessels with huge weight from the Consul General’s house to Cliff House (CM’s official house) in the vehicle of the consulate. This was according to the instructions of Mr Sivasankar. It was not just biryani, it had metal objects. There have been many incidents like this. When taken to Cliff House I think it’s common sense (on asking about whether CM is aware or not),” Swapna further said.

She also urged the court and the investigation agencies to conduct proper investigation.

“Everything else has been said in court. There is a case going on and the investigation should be proper. If everyone is involved, according to the decree of involvement, the court and the investigation agencies should listen to an accused and understand what is their involvement,” she added.

The Kerala gold smuggling case pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels. It had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crore smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage was busted by the customs department in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5, 2019.

After spending 16 months behind bars, Swapna was released from jail in November last year.

The case is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate, National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the customs department.

Earlier this year, Swapna Suresh had alleged that she was exploited and manipulated by M Sivasankar, principal secretary of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The statements came after Mr Sivasankar in his upcoming autobiography “Aswathamavu: Verum Oru Aana” alleged that Swapna had trapped him by gifting him an iPhone.

M Sivasankar was arrested on October 28, 2020, after the Kerala High Court rejected his anticipatory bail petition.

In his upcoming book, he alleged that Swapna had deceived him and that she was the mastermind of the gold smuggling racket, according to vernacular media reports.

M Sivasankar was released on bail on February 4, last year.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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