Kerala

Swapna said foreign currency was smuggled at instance of Kerala CM, Speaker, says Customs

Swapna Suresh, one of the prime accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Customs on Friday informed the Kerala High Court that Swapna Suresh, one of the prime accused in the diplomatic gold smuggling case, has revealed with clarity that smuggling of foreign currency was done at the instance of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Assembly Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan.

Sumit Kumar, Commissioner of Customs(Preventive) Kochi submitted in a statement filed before the High Court that she had made a "shocking revelation" of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's close connections with the previous Consul General of UAE and the illegal monetary transactions.

Swapna said foreign currency was smuggled at instance of Kerala CM, Speaker, says Customs
 

The statement was filed by the Commissioner of Customs (Preventive), Kochi, in response to a petition filed by the State government challenging certain remarks in the order of the Additional Chief Judciail Magistrate (Economic Offences) Court's providing security to Swapna Sures, now housed at the women's Prison and Correctional Home, Attakulangara, Thiruvananthapuram.

The Customs Commissioner pointed out that Swapna Suresh had also "made shocking revelations" about the Chief Minister, the Assembly Speaker and three ministers in the State cabinet. She had also revealed the involvement of high-profile persons and the kickbacks received by them from various deals. She was aware of all these transactions and was a witness to them as she was well versed in Arabic language and had acted as translators in these deals. The role of former Principal Secretary Sivanakaran in acting as a link between the high profile politicians of Kerala and the UAE Consulate Officials as well as some others and in coordinating the illegal financial dealing under the cover of various activities and projects of the government was also revealed by her.

The Customs was prepared to produce in a sealed cover before the court the copies of the statement of Swapna Suresh recorded under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure and under section 108 of the Customs Act. In fact, most of the facts revealed by the prime accused were matters exclusively within her personal knowledge and could be tendered as evidence in appropriate proceedings.

 

The statement said that the apprehension of Swapna Suresh regarding her safety in the prison and threat to her life was perfectly justified and she could not be found fault in seeking protection as the facts disclosed were highly sensitive.

The government in its petition pointed out that the observation of the magistrate court that there was absolutely no ground to disbelieve the version of Swapna Suresh was bad in law as it had been made without seeking a report from the Director-General of Prisons.The state government submitted that before making the observation the ACJM court ought to have called for details from the prison authorities and verified them.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 8:21:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/swapna-said-foreign-currency-was-smuggled-at-the-instance-of-kerala-cm-speaker-says-customs/article33995303.ece

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