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Gold smuggling: Swapna Suresh moves high court for anticipatory bail

Gold smuggling: Swapna Suresh moves high court for anticipatory bail

Published:09 July 2020

The anticipatory bail plea of the woman employee Swapna Suresh, on the run since being sacked from contractual service in the state IT department after her name cropped up in the smuggling case, is expected to come up before the Kerala high court on Friday.

Thiruvananthapuram/Kochi | The anticipatory bail plea of the woman employee Swapna Suresh, on the run since being sacked from contractual service in the state IT department after her name cropped up in the smuggling case, is expected to come up before the Kerala high court on Friday.
The woman and an alleged accomplice of her are absconding even as an audio clip in which she purportedly claims innocence surfaced.
In a related legal development, the consulate's another former employee, R Sarith Kumar, who has been arrested in the case, was produced before the economic offences court in Kochi and sent to the customs department custody for further probe.
As a political storm erupted over the case, the opposition Congress and BJP in the state stepped up their attack on Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan demanding his resignation and a CBI probe alleging "involvement of his office" in the case.
Congress at the national level also sought a CBI probe.
The state government has removed senior IAS officer M Sivasankar, who was the secretary to the Chief Minister and the IT Principal secretary, following allegations that he had close links with the woman suspect in the case. The official has gone on a year's leave.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Thursday demanded a CBI probe into the gold smuggling case, alleging the incident involves people who have access to the highest echelons of the state and the Central governments.
Responding to the queries from the media on the resignation demand, Vijayan asked the opposition to desist from "cheap tactics" and "imaginative stories".
"Smuggling affects the economy of the nation and the culprits must be brought before the nation. We have offered all assistance to the central agencies if they require any.
We need to identify the big fishes behind this criminal act.
"It's the centre to decide on the investigating agency. Not the state government and they are doing it already," he said.
Meanwhile, various television channels aired a voice clip in which the wanted woman purportedly claimed she had no role in the smuggling case.
The woman is heard saying that her only involvement in the incident was that she had called a person in the diplomatic cargo section and asked him to clear the cargo.
She claimed the developments in the past few days had brought her family on the verge of suicide.
"I know all political leaders and I have only an official relationship with them" and had invited them for various functions, she said adding she had no connection with the smuggling case.
The audio clip surfaced on a day when the Kochi customs wrote to state police chief Loknath Behera seeking certain CCTV visuals of the airport, police sources said.
The DGP has directed the Police commissioner and IG traffic to hand over the footage to the Customs, they added.


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