The affidavit was submitted by her to the High Court on June 7, but came out in public domain on June 15.

A collage of Swapna Suresh and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan
news Gold Smuggling Case Thursday, June 16, 2022 - 14:56

An affidavit filed in the Kerala High Court by Swapna Suresh, an accused in the gold smuggling case, has now come out in the public domain where she has alleged that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sought help from the visiting Sharjah ruler in September 2017 for his daughter's bid to open an IT business in the emirate. In her affidavit, Swapna has alleged that the Sharjah ruler was in the state to receive a D.Litt from the University of Kerala and in September 2017, a meeting took place about his daughter’s business at CM Pinarayi's official residence, Cliff House. She further claimed that Pinarayi, his wife Kamala and daughter Veena, as well as M Sivasankar (former principal secretary to Kerala CM) and Nalini Netto (former chief principal secretary to Pinarayi) were present at the meeting.

Swapna Suresh also alleged that Pinarayi also had a word with the Sharjah IT Minister to ensure his daughter is able to open an IT business there, and that she herself took up this issue with high-ranking Sharjah officials. Further, Swapna has also claimed that there was no clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs for this meeting.

Swapna has further submitted to the court that Kamala Vijayan had ‘requested’ her to ensure that the Consul General assists them to take the Princess and Ruler of Sharjah ‘in their control’ along with the Sharjah IT hub. She goes on to say that Kamala was ready to offer huge quantities of jewellery and diamonds to the Sharjah ruler and his wife, but it was Swapna who said that they would not accept that as they were ‘King and Queen of Sharjah’.

She has also alleged that there were chats about the alleged transfer of biryani vessels between the residence of the UAE Consul General to the Cliff house, which can be found in the gadgets that have been seized by officials.

In her affidavit submitted to the High Court, Swapna has also named two CPI(M) leaders — former CPI(M) speaker P Sreeramakrishnan and former state minister and senior legislator KT Jaleel. She alleged in 2017, M Shivashankar facilitated import of 17 tones of dates to Kerala through his contacts, and got the consignment cleared without a food safety certificate or any other certificates as mandated by law. While only small quantities of dates were distributed to eight institutions, KT Jaleel received many such cartons which were delivered by consul generals driver, she alleged. She added added that he also had a close relationship with the consulate general, and held several closed door meetings.

Swapna also alleged that former Speaker Sreeramakrishnan had a personal meeting with the Sharjah ruler during his visit, and requested free land to build his college, and that a bag of currency was exchanged between him and the Consul General via Sarith.

Incidentally, soon after the gold smuggling case surfaced in July 2020, both Sreeramakrishnan — who was then the Speaker of the Kerala Legislative Assembly — and Jaleel were questioned by the national agencies.

This affidavit has come out a day after Swapna Suresh threatened to ‘expose’ Pinarayi's 'lie' that he did not know her. Swapna Suresh had told the media that when she was in jail, Vijayan had said that he did not know this "controversial woman".

"Very soon, through you (media), I will remind him on my presence at the Cliff House (official residence of Vijayan) discussing things in the presence of his wife Kamala, their daughter Veena, and their son and taking decisions. If he has forgotten that, then I will remind him,” Swapna had said.

Meanwhile, lashing out at the government over Swapna’s allegations, Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan said Vijayan has been maintaining stoic silence ever since Swapna Suresh has been making allegations and that in itself tells the tale. "Pinarayi has to break his silence and has to come out with what he has to say," he said.

Former Leader of Opposition and veteran Congress legislator Ramesh Chennithala, who had led the protests when this case rocked the state in 2020, has said that the allegations are only just the tip of the iceberg. Meanwhile, former Chief Secretary Netto has dismissed Swapna’s charges and said that she does not wish to speak to the media on this, and if called by any probe agencies, she will say what she has to.

(With IANS inputs)

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