Kerala gold smuggling: Sarith PS, Swapna Suresh, Sandeep Nair sent to ED custody till Aug 17

Kochi: Three key accused in the high-profile Kerala gold smuggling case — Sarith PS, Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair — were on Friday sent to the custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) by a court in Kochi.

Ernakulam Principal Sessions Court sent the three accused to ED custody and directed the economic offences wing that the interrogation of Swapna Suresh should take place from 10 am to 5 pm and noted that it will take actions if the accused faces mental torture in custody.

During the hearing, the ED submitted before the court Swapna Suresh has revealed her closeness with the former principal secretary to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) M Sivasankar and that he was fully aware that her integrity is dubious.

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“Swapna Suresh revealed her closeness with M Sivasankar, who is the former principal secretary of CMO. He was fully aware that her integrity is dubious. This is leading to a situation for further questioning of Sivasankar,” the counsel appearing for the ED submitted.

“It has also been revealed that when the state machinery was in UAE from October 17, 2018, to October 21, 2018, seeking assistance of the Indians there for flood relief, she had meetings with Sivasankar. It is revealed that she had considerable influence in the CMO,” it added.

Notably, a Kochi court had yesterday dismissed the bail petition of Swapna Suresh in connection with a case being probed by the Customs Department.

The matter, which pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels, had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crores, smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage, was busted by customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5.

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