The Customs Department has registered a fresh case against Swapna Suresh and Sarith PS, the key accused in the controversial gold smuggling case, after the agency found that the duo allegedly smuggled USD 1.9 lakh from Kerala to the UAE. They have been booked for violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), reports The Hindu.
It had earlier surfaced that the duo had used the identity cards from the UAE Consulate, where they were former employees, to facilitate the alleged transfer of foreign currency. According to the report, the investigation agency will register the arrest of the duo in the case.
According to the Times of India, the duo has been booked under section 113 (Confiscation of goods attempted to be improperly exported) of the Customs Act. According to the report, the foreign currency was sent to the UAE through Trivandrum International Airport. Reportedly, the investigation agency also suspects the involvement of suspended IAS officer M Sivasankar in the alleged crime.
The Customs had reportedly issued summons to Sivasankar on Friday to depose the investigation agency. But on Friday after Customs officials reached his house in Thiruvananthapuram, he reportedly complained of cardiac distress and was moved to a private hospital. After finding that he had no heart-related ailments, on Sunday he was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College after he complained of back pain.
It is also suspected that Egyptian national Khalid, a former employee of the UAE Consulate, had helped Sarith and Swapna with the alleged smuggling. Khalidâ€™s name had also surfaced in the probe conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). It had surfaced that Khalid had also allegedly shared the commission received by Unitac Builders and Sane Ventures, the builders of Life Mission project in Wadakkanchery.
Sarith PS is the first accused in the cases of gold smuggling cases registered by the Customs, National Investigation Agency and Enforcement Directorate, while Swapna is the second accused in these cases.