Thiruvananthapuram

Gold smuggling | Swapna, Sarith charged with FEMA violation

Swapna Suresh  

The Customs Department has filed a case before the Economic Offences Court, Ernakulam, against Swapna Suresh and P. S. Sarith, the key accused in the gold smuggling case for violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

The case has been filed based on the inference that the accused had abetted smuggling of foreign currency from the country with the help of her consulate identity card. Both Ms. Swapna and Mr. Sarith were former employees of the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.

The court is likely to consider the application moved by the Customs to arrest the accused on Monday. The investigating team was tight-lipped on whether they have included M. Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, as an accused in the case.

The Customs, in a recent petition filed before a court in Kochi, had claimed that around $1.9 lakh had been taken out of the country with the help of Swapna. The illegal transportation of currency via aiport comes under FEMA and it allows the Customs to register a case under section 11 of the Customs Act.

The report said that Ms. Swapna helped and abetted illegal transportation of $1.9 lakh abroad taking advantage of the identity card issued by the consulate. The Customs had found that she received help from a carrier to transport the cash to UAE.

The Department had also come across evidence of an employee of UAFX Solutions, a money exchange company, helping Swapna to convert around $65,000 currency on various occasions in 2018 and 2019 in violation of the RBI norms.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 9:29:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/gold-smuggling-swapna-sarith-charged-with-fema-violation/article32880668.ece

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