In a major development on the controversy around the gold and dollar smuggling cases in Kerala, a Civil Police Officer (CPO) has given a statement that Enforcement Directorate officials pressurised key accused Swapna Suresh to give a statement against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The statement of the CPO comes days after ED filed an affidavit in Kerala High Court claiming that Swapna gave a statement “about smuggling of foreign currency at the instance of the Chief Minister and the Speaker with the help of the Consulate”.
Siji Vijayan, the CPO who was on duty while ED interrogated Swapna, made the statement before a special probe team of Kerala police that is inquiring about a voice clip claimed to be Swapna’s, in which allegations were made that she was forced to name Pinarayi.
“The questions were posed by ED officials in such a way that it forced Swapna to name the Chief Minister,” the CPO said in the statement.
The statement has come as part of the ongoing probe in the case of an audio tape that came out last year and was believed to be that of Swapna Suresh. In that tape, Swapna is heard saying that she would be made an approver in the case, if she took the name of Pinarayi Vijayan.
In the statement which surfaced in the media on Monday, Siji Vijayan said loaded questions were thrown at Swapna Suresh, so that her answer would come out in such a way, that it could put Vijayan in the spot. Siji added that on the day of questioning by ED, she was on personal security duty of Swapna Suresh.
Siji also told the probe team that the ED officials were speaking in English and Hindi and since she knew both the languages, she could understand it. She added that at times, ED officials used to get phone calls and they used to stop the questioning at that time, and it would resume once the call got over.
Ever since the gold smuggling case surfaced, followed by different other controversies, the Kerala government has been facing flak with CM’s former Principal Secretary M Sivasankar, being named as a key accused in the case. Opposition parties had lashed out at CM Pinarayi after ED stated in court that Swapna had named Pinarayi.
(With inputs from IANS)