Kerala

NIA seeks extension of accused’s remand

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has sought to extend the detention of the accused in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case to ascertain “whether funds in the form of terror funds, were used in the crime,” by forces in the UAE and inimical to India.

The agency sought 90 more days to complete the investigation.

It submitted that the accused had hatched criminal conspiracy, recruited and used persons, collected funds and used encrypted communication platforms for committing the crime, which were intended to threaten the economic security of India.

Seeks more time

Time is required to cover all aspects of the crime which has transnational ramifications. The spread of COVID-19 pandemic had curtailed the travel and personal interactions of witnesses, it submitted.

The accused raised funds in India and abroad by smuggling gold in large quantities and multiple times, deliberately and intentionally through diplomatic cargo of UAE Consulate, for damaging the friendly relations with UAE.

The funds thus raised were repeatedly used for smuggling more gold into the country, and not for any pecuniary benefit. The arrested accused have to be detained to hold investigation abroad and securing of crucial evidence, especially from the UAE, it submitted.

Bail application

Meanwhile, Kausar Edappagath, Principal District and Sessions Judge, Ernakulam, posted the bail application of Swapna Suresh in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act case booked by the Enforcement Directorate against her for orders to October 13.

Opposing the bail application, Additional Solicitor General Suryaprakash V. Raju contended that the accused was not eligible for statutory bail as she had not raised the plea before the filing of the final complaint in the case.

However, Geo Paul, her counsel, submitted that he had moved a motion in the court to the effect well before filing of the final complaint. He also sought bail on the ground that the accused was a woman and had a young child.

The ED argued against granting the bail considering the gravity of the offence and her high influence.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 5:43:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/nia-seeks-extension-of-accuseds-remand/article32815101.ece

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