Kerala Police had registered the FIR against ED officials for allegedly forcing gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh to give statements against CM Pinarayi Vijayan.

Gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh
news Court Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - 12:41

The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday approached the Kerala High Court seeking a CBI probe in the case registered by the Crime Branch of Kerala Police against officials of the central agency. Kerala police had registered the case against ED officials for allegedly forcing Swapna Suresh, the key accused in the gold smuggling case, to give statements implicating Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. According to Live Law, the matter was mentioned before a bench of Justice VG Arun on Tuesday.

The case filed by Kerala Crime Branch was registered under various sections of the IPC after Swapna Suresh was questioned by ED on August 12 and 13 last year, and an audiotape surfaced where

Swapna purportedly said she was allegedly forced to give false statements against the Chief Minister in order to create fake evidence.

“...The ED officials, probing the gold smuggling case while questioning an accused named Swapna Prabha Suresh on August 12 and 13, 2020, have forced her to give false statements against the state chief minister in order to make fake evidence...,” the FIR read.

In a voice clip purported to be that of Swapna circulated a few months ago it was alleged that some ED officials had threatened her while she was being interrogated at the agency office in Kochi in August last year to give statements against Vijayan and some ministers.

Later two women civil police officers who had been with Swapna when she was interrogated by ED had also reportedly claimed that they had heard the ED officials forcing her to name Vijayan.

The Crime Branch case has been registered under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury), 192 (fabricating false evidence), 195-A (threatening any person to give false evidence), among others of the Indian Penal Code.

Swapna Suresh, a former employee of the UAE consulate Thiruvananthapuram, is the prime accused in the case relating to the smuggling 30 kg of gold worth Rs 14.82 crore in a diplomatic baggage and is now under judicial custody since her arrest.

Besides the ED, the Customs and the National Investigation Agency are also probing the smuggling of gold through the diplomatic channel. Vijayan has accused the Central agencies of targeting his government.

With agency inputs 

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