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By Saradha | Jul 12, 2020 11:10 AM

Almost 30 Kilogram of smuggled gold was seized from a diplomatic cargo addressed to the UAE Consulate- General Office in Thiruvananthapuram last Sunday. This sparked a huge controversy in Kerala. The gold is reportedly worth Rs 15 crore and on top of that it was found in a diplomatic cargo enjoys the luxury of not being checked during routine customs examination. The controversy has been under the limelight for the past few days also because the key players behind the racket have alleged links with government officials.

NIA arrest Swapna Suresh, Sandeep Nair in Kerala gold smuggling racket

Swapna Suresh, who worked as an executive secretary at the UAE Consulate in the state capital till seven months back, was named as an accomplice.  She mysteriously went into hiding a day before Customs decided to check the diplomatic cargo. 

Swapna Suresh lived in Dubai where her father was handling business and thus, she was socializing with elite social circles. She was posted as HR executive with AISATS, an airport service firm in Thiruvananthapuram. Reportedly, she had conspired with another senior executive at the firm to file a false complaint of sexual abuse against an airport staff.

Reportedly, she has prepared almost 17 complaints from many bogus names. Once she filed the complaints, she forced police to look into the conspiracy. 

“Suresh moved in social, bureaucratic and political circles, at times even projecting herself as a diplomat. In 2017, when the Sharjah ruler was on a four-day official visit to Kerala, the consulate executive secretary moved along with the dignitaries and attended several official functions,” The New Indian Express reported.

The second and fourth accused, namely Swapna Suresha and Sandeep Nair were arrested on Saturday from Bangalore. The arrest is likely to expose who are the real beneficiaries of this gold smuggling racket. 

“From day-1 there were various theories floating in the media regarding her hideout. While many believed that she along with Sandeep had left together and was staying in Cochin, very few were of the view that she had fled outside the state. However, sources from the customs feel that she might have left to Bengaluru via Palakkad. If that was the case, that would raise serious questions regarding the laxity of the Kerala police failing to track her while driving right under their watch,” Times Now cited in its report. 

As per media reports, they were traced by the police through the mobile communication made from Sandeep Nair to his brother, six days after the two of them went missing 

The customs officials interrogated their family members and collected their mobile phones. An unknown call which was meant for Sandeep’s brother was tracked by the police and the caller was identified as Sandeep.

Reportedly, a phone call from Swapna’s daughter on Saturday afternoon to her friend was intercepted and enabled National Investigation Agency (NIA) to track the location of the first and second accused in the case.

“Only after the arrest of all the four accused and their cross-questioning that the real beneficiaries of the gold smuggled can be identified. The investigation could up to weeks and months. But Sandeep and Swapna have a strong involvement in the smuggling of Gold through airports”, a senior officer from customs who is also part of the probe team, told media.

Swapna is named as the second accused and Sandeep has been named as the fourth accused in the FIR taken by NIA. Both of them have been slapped with Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, (UAPA) along with first accused Sarith PS and third accused Fazil Fareed

Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair will be produced in the Cochin NIA court on July 12 and the investigation team will seek her custody for interrogation.

According to the official statement issued by NIA, "Accused Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair have been detained in Kerala Gold Smuggling case. They are being examined and will be arrested in due course. They have been detained from BTM Layout in Bangalore."

அரசியல், விளையாட்டு, நாட்டுநடப்பு, குற்ற சம்பவங்கள், வர்த்தகம், தொழில்நுட்பம், சினிமா, வாழ்க்கை முறை என பலதரப்பட்ட சுவாரஸ்யமான செய்திகளை தமிழில் படிக்க இங்கு கிளிக் செய்யவும்      



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