In the voice clip, Swapna Suresh reportedly said that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) pressurised her to give a statement against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Swapna Suresh, accused in Kerala gold smuggling case, coming out of court in a black dress that with her face covered Swapna Suresh (Middle)
news Controversy Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 16:21

A voice clip, purportedly that of Swapna Suresh, key accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case, surfaced on Wednesday, in which she reportedly said that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) pressurised her to give a statement against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. In the clip, the voice also claims that if a statement was given, she would be made an approver in the case. Swapna Suresh is currently lodged at the Attakulangara Women’s Jail in Thiruvananthapuram. The voice clip has been released on an online Malayalam portal, The Cue. The Prisons department on Thursday launched a probe into a viral voice clip.

Director General of Prisons Rishiraj Singh directed South Zone Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ajaykumar to probe the matter, in which a suspected under trial prisoner’s voice clip was circulated, and submit a report on Thursday itself. "DIG South Zone is probing the matter. The genuineness of the voice note will also be probed. We will seek the help of the cyber cell of Kerala police in the matter," Rishiraj Singh told the media.

In the clip released by the portal on Wednesday evening, Swapna is heard alleging that the investigating agencies probing the gold smuggling case had forced her to take the name of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, which she refused to do. She was asked to sign documents regarding her statement without letting her read them, it was alleged in the purported clip. Ajaykumar on Thursday morning reached the women's jail  to initiate the probe.

It was also reported in the media that the DIG confirmed that the audio was that of Swapna, as she admitted to him. “However the audio was not recorded from the jail and she said she doesn't remember where it was recorded," he told the media.

A special court dealing with the Economic Offences had on Tuesday extended the judicial custody of Swapna and another accused, Sandeep Nair, till December 1. Various central investigating agencies are probing the gold smuggling case after nearly 15 kg of gold was seized on July 5 from a diplomatic baggage addressed to the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.

Both Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair are in preventive detention under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities (COFEPOSA) Act.

Meanwhile the Prisons DGP on Wednesday issued notice to BJP Kerala chief K Surendran warning action against giving news that is defamatory to the prisons department.

Surendran alleged that several people visited Swapna at the jail violating the prison’s laws. 

With PTI Inputs 

Read: Prison DGP issues notice to Kerala BJP President for statement against jail dept