Kerala gold smuggling case: Swapna Suresh, key suspect, taken into custody by NIA

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Updated: July 11, 2020 9:42 PM

Kerala gold smuggling case: Swapna Suresh will be produced at the NIA office in Kochi on Sunday.

Swapna Suresh is the key suspect in gold smuggling case.

Kerala gold smuggling: Swapna Suresh, the key suspect, along with her family members, has been taken in custody by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Swapna Suresh will be produced at the NIA office in Kochi on Sunday, news agency ANI reported. “Swapna Suresh, the key suspect, along with her family members, taken in custody by NIA in Bengaluru. Swapna Suresh will be produced in NIA office in Kochi tomorrow,” a tweet by ANI said.

On Friday, the NIA registered an FIR in gold smuggling case under sections 16, 17 and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act-1967 against four accused persons Sarith, Swapna Prabha Suresh, Fazil Fareed and Sandeep Nair and others in connection with the seizure of 30 kg of 24 carat gold worth Rs 14.82 crores at Trivandrum International Airport on July 5 by the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Cochin.

In a press release, the investigating agency said that the consignment was found camouflaged in diplomatic baggage from UAE that is exempted from inspection as per the Vienna Convention. “The consignment was to be received by Sarith who had worked in the UAE Consulate earlier as Public Relations Officer. Initial investigation by Customs Department has revealed that Sarith had received multiple such consignments earlier as well,” it said.

The NIA further stated that this amounted to a “terrorist act” as smuggling of large quantity of gold into India from offshore locations threatened the economic stability and national security of the country. “Further, as the case has national and international linkages and as the initial enquiries have revealed that the proceeds of smuggled gold could be used for financing of terrorism in India, NIA has taken up the investigation of the case,” the release further added.

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