Kerala

Kerala gold smuggling case: Swapna Suresh says she acted under instructions from UAE Consulate

Kerala High Court. File

Kerala High Court. File   | Photo Credit: H. Vibhu

An anticipatory bail petition has been filed in the Kerala High Court by Swapna Praba Suresh, a suspect in the case relating to the gold smuggling through the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.

In her anticipatory bail petition, she said that she was innocent and had not committed any criminal offences.

She pointed out that she had resigned from her post as executive secretary in the Consulate General Office of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and joined as a contract staff in the PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited which is dealing with the Space Park Project under the State IT department. However, she was still working with the Consulate as secretary on “request basis” in view of the COVID-19 situation.

 

She alleged in the bail petition that Rashid Khmis Al Sheimelli, who is the present Acting Charge of the Consulate General of UAE, had directed her to check with the customs officials regarding the delay of his consignment which arrived in the cargo on June 30 and again on July 1. The Consulate General had instructed her to contact the customs officer, cargo complex Thiruvananthapuram. As part of discharging her official duties, she had called the Assistant Commissioner of Customs and verified the status of the diplomatic cargo.

As per the request of the Assistant Commissioner of Customs, Air Cargo complex, the Consul General in charge went to the cargo complex and admitted before the customs authority that the cargo belonged to him. The cargo was opened on July 5 in the presence of the senior officials from the High Commissioner of Delhi along with the Consul General and found 30 kg of gold concealed in the cargo.

She had no connection or involvement in the smuggling of the gold. She had only contacted the Assistant Commissioner of Customs over phone as per the instructions from the Consulate General as part of her official work. She had been falsely implicated in the case. She feared that there was every possibility of her being implicated in the case. Besides, she had no criminal antecedents. Therefore, she pleaded that the Assistant Commissioner of Customs be directed to release her on bail in the event of her arrest.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 11:58:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-gold-smuggling-case-swapna-suresh-says-she-acted-under-instructions-from-uae-consulate/article32028973.ece

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