Bengaluru: Swapna Suresh, a former Abu Dhabi ex-pat accused of being a key organizer in the gold smuggling case in Kerala is now in custody, authorities told media on Saturday. The Kerala gold smuggling case had pulled Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office into a political firestorm.
The case shot up into national prominence after 30kg of gold was seized at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport in baggage meant for the UAE consulate general in Kerala.
Following the incident, Swapna Suresh had applied for anticipatory bail. Claiming innocence, she said she did not have anything to do with the smuggling and was facing a “media trial”.
Swapna was born in Abu Dhabi and did her schooling in the UAE. Right now, she is the second-most wanted person in this case. An important part pointed out by the investigators was the ease with which gold was smuggled in. They suspect that her connections made it possible for her to get away with it for so long. Police are also investigating whether any of the gold or the funds related to it have been used to finance terror activities in India.
The Kerala Chief Minister’s office was accused by the opposition of links to Swapna Suresh and a senior bureaucrat was removed from the post of principal secretary to Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday. The opposition Congress has demanded the Chief Minister’s resignation and announced state-wide protests.
The CM has refuted allegations of his office shielding anyone saying, “Elections are nearing, the government cannot be discredited by creating smoke.”
He had also sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his “intervention for an effective investigation” into the smuggling case.
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