In a shocking revelation, the scandalous gold smuggling case allegedly involving top babus in Kerala, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, one of the prime accused Swapna Suresh has reportedly told the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that she and her gang smuggled gold for as many as 19 times since November last year.
In her statement to the ED, she said that she had started smuggling only after joining the Space Park and not while she was employed at the Consulate of the United Arab Emirates.
Swapna Suresh joined the Space Park on 21 October 2019, and that is when her gang began carrying out smuggling trials two times a month. Eventually, the gang smuggled gold via the Thiruvananthapuram airport around 19 times between November 2019 and June 2020, according to a report by OnManorama.
They slipped in illegal gold four times in November, 12 times in December, once each in January, March and June. She and her gang were nabbed by the customs department when they tried to smuggle again around June end.
As per her statement, she and her gang managed to smuggle a whopping 36 kilograms of gold in December alone.
Meanwhile, the Principal Sessions Court in Ernakulam has granted bail to Swapna Suresh in the case registered by the Enforcement Directorate. However, she will continue to remain in prison as the National Investigation Agency’s case into the matter is still pending.
The UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram has ceased its operations in wake of the scandal and but the mission has said the “temporary shutdown” was due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this week, Suresh told ED that her appointment to the Kerala government’s Space Park was done under the knowledge of the Chief Minister.
“I am known to M Sivasankar very closely and I am also known to CM Pinarayi Vijayan from the time I was secretary to the Consul General. I believe I am trustworthy and reliable, and that may be the reason I am recommended to the PWC and subsequently to the Space Park project. My appointment in Space Park was with the knowledge of the chief minister,” she said.