The investigating officer produced three statements of Swapna and Sarith in a sealed cover, a court order said.

Kerala Gold Smuggling Case Accused Sarith PS in a blue shirt and Swapna Suresh wearing a salwarSarith PS (Left) and Swapna Suresh
news Kerala Gold Smuggling Case Wednesday, December 02, 2020 - 12:49

Key accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case Swapna Suresh and Sarith PS have revealed the involvement of ‘big sharks’ in smuggling foreign currencies out of the country and this would shock one's conscience, stated an order of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (economic offences) court. The court made the observation while granting custody of bureaucrat M Sivasankar to the Customs Department till December 7 in the gold smuggling case. Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, however hasn’t been arraigned as an accused in the currency smuggling case. He is the 23rd accused in the gold smuggling case.

The investigating officer produced three statements of Swapna and Sarith in a sealed cover, the court order said. The statements, the order stated, would reveal the involvement of 'big sharks’ who allegedly manipulated their solemn duties and smuggled foreign currencies. However, the details of the big names mentioned in the statement have not been disclosed to ensure confidentiality.

"The involvement of these people is shocking and an intrinsic probe is needed to confirm the allegation. These people have strong nexus with the officials of the UAE Consulate and had been into smuggling activity earlier too, but didn’t get caught," the order said, according to a report in the Times of India.

The statements were taken on November 27 and 28 while Swapna and Sarith were in the custody of the Customs Department in a case related to the smuggling of foreign currency by an Egyptian national. He was employed at the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram and it is alleged that the smuggling of currency was carried out with the active assistance of Swapna and Sarith. After recording Swapna’s statement, the court order further stated that it was significant to note that the call details were checked while verifying that of Sivasankar too, to ascertain if he was involved.

Meanwhile, with reports alleging that Sivasankar called Customs officials to release the bag of gold which brought the case to light, the Enforcement Directorate has reportedly begun seeking statements from the Customs Department. 

Also Read: The Kerala gold smuggling case and all its controversies: An exhaustive explainer

 

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