Key accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh, appeared before the Kochi unit of the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday after being summoned by the probe agency in view of her recent statement before a magistrate court here under section 164 of the CrPC. Suresh, who reached the ED office at 11 am, left the office at around 5 pm, sources said.
Suresh’s appearance before the ED comes in wake of her fresh allegations against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, his family members, a few politicians associated with the ruling Left, and some top bureaucrats in connection with certain smuggling cases. The revelation made before the media by Suresh, subsequent to recording her statement under Section I64 before the court early this month, has kept the political pot boiling in Kerala as opposition party activists clashed with police across the state for several days demanding the resignation of the CM alleging that he was trying to escape the probe through “blatant abuse of power misusing police.”
After her disclosures, Vijayan had issued a statement dismissing Suresh’s claims and allegations as “baseless”.
Suresh, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here, was taken into custody by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) along with another accused Sandeep Nair from Bengaluru on July 11, 2020. The NIA, Enforcement Directorate (ED), and Customs conducted separate probes into the racket that was busted with the seizure of gold worth Rs 15 crore from the diplomatic baggage of the UAE Consulate at Thiruvananthapuram airport on July 5, 2020.
Several people, including M Sivasankar, the former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, and another ex-employee of the UAE Consulate here, Sarith, were arrested in connection with the case.