The special court in Kochi considering the sensational Kerala gold smuggling case, being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), has rejected the bail plea of key accused Swapna Suresh. The court rejected the bail plea stating that prima facie there is evidence to show that Swapna Suresh has involvement in smuggling gold.
According to sources, the bail plea was rejected by the court considering the case diary and evidence submitted by the NIA team. The bail plea was rejected under the section 43D(5) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) which states that such a plea can be rejected if the case diary opines that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusation against such person is prima facie true.
Notably, while rejecting the bail plea, the court also observed that prima facie it is clear that the alleged crime committed by Swapna comes under the charged provisions of UAPA. Therefore, the court said that all the charges including the UAPA will sustain. The court also said that gold smuggling can be classified as a terrorist activity.
“The accused had knowledge that the alleged crime was a threat to the financial security of the country. There is evidence in the case diary that gold was smuggled through diplomatic baggage multiple times,” sources quoted the NIA court to have said.
Court observed that Swapna got involved multiple times to release the camouflaged diplomatic baggage.
Meanwhile, the court dismissed Swapna’s arguments that the case is a politically motivated one.
Swapna is the second accused in the case charged by NIA for smuggling 30 kg gold from UAE to Kerala. Swapna, who was a former employee of the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, during the time of the confiscation of smuggled gold, was working as a contract employee in a project under the IT Department of Kerala. Swapna was ousted from the post after she was named in the case.
(The story has been republished in an arrangement with The News Minute)