In November 2020, a voice note alleged to be that of Swapna’s had said that the investigation agencies forced her to name Kerala CM in the case.

Kerala CM had close relations with former UAE consul Swapna in gold smuggling case
news Gold smuggling Friday, March 05, 2021 - 15:37

Swapna Suresh, prime accused in the gold smuggling case, has alleged that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had close connections with the previous Consul General of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and illegal monetary transactions were carried out. Her statement recorded by the Customs Department was filed before the Kerala High Court on Thursday. Swapna’s statement also carried allegations against the Speaker and a few ministers of the state cabinet.

Swapna’s statement was recorded under Section 108 of the Customs Act, and the 164 statement (given before the Magistrate). In November 2020, a voice note alleged to be that of Swapna's had emerged, in which it was said that investigation agencies forced her to name Kerala CM in the case and that she could then turn an approver in the case.

Read: Kerala Crime Branch to probe purported voice clip of Swapna Suresh

The statement that now emerged was submitted by the Commissioner of Customs (Preventive) before the High Court on December 8, 2020. It says: "Her (Swapna’s) close connection with the Chief Minister and his principal secretary and a personal staff was also revealed by her. She has also stated with clarity about smuggling of foreign currency at the instance of the Chief Minister and the Speaker with the help of the Consulate. She has also clearly stated about the improper and illegal activities of three Ministers of the state cabinet and the Speaker. She has further stated about the involvement and the kickbacks received by high profile persons from various deals.”

"She has stated that she is aware of all these transactions and was a witness to the same as she is well versed in the Arabic language and hence was forced to act as the translator between the above said persons and the persons of Middle East origin in all their crucial interactions. The role of the former principal secretary (M Sivasankar) in acting as the link between the high-profile politicians of Kerala and the UAE Consulate officials as well as some others and in coordinating the illegal financial dealings under the cover of various activities and projects of the state government was also revealed by her," said the statement of the Customs which is before the High Court.

Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said Pinarayi Vijayan has “no moral right” to continue as the Chief Minister.

"Just look into this statement, it was done a few months back and when the probe was about to reach Pinarayi Vijayan, everything came to a standstill and this is because of the secret relations between the BJP and the CPI(M). Now that the cat is out of the bag, Pinarayi Vijayan has to quit and cannot remain in that post even for a minute," said Chennithala.

Senior Congress legislator PT Thomas, known for his tirades against Pinarayi Vijayan inside and outside the Assembly, said it's a shame that has fallen on the state.

Incidentally, this revelation has come at a time when Pinarayi Vijayan was leading the state committee meeting of his party at the state party headquarters, preparing the final list of his party candidates numbering around 90 seats of the 140-Assembly seats.

(With IANS input)

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