'No Agenda,' Says Swapna Suresh on Allegations Against Pinarayi Vijayan
Suresh had alleged that the Kerala chief minister had taken a bag full of currency to the UAE in 2016.
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Swapna Suresh, the key accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case, said on Wednesday, 8 June, that her allegations about the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan were bereft of political or personal agenda.
This comes after she had alleged, on Tuesday, 7 June, that the CM had taken a bag full of currency to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2016 and he had refuted it saying it was part of a “certain agenda” against him.
Meanwhile, Kerala Cantonment Police has registered a case against Swapna Suresh under sections 153 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code on the complaint of former minister KT Jaleel.
“I don’t have any political or any kind of personal agenda behind giving the statement to the court. What I stated in the statement as per section 164, had already been shared with the investigating agencies in the past. I am facing a threat and my present employer is also facing several hardships due to this... I have given a statement against CM Vijayan only because there is evidence.”
Hours after Suresh spoke to media persons in Palakkad on Wednesday, 8 June, PS Sarith, another accused in the case, was taken into custody by a Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) team.
This was in connection to a case related to the state government housing scheme Life Mission.
Suresh had told the media about the allegation in Kochi on Tuesday after giving a statement at a local court in a money laundering case that came up during the gold smuggling investigation.
Referring to the allegations made by her against Vijayan's wife and daughter, she further said, “Kamala and Veena are leading luxurious lives. Only I am left to suffer. ”
What Transpired on Tuesday?
On Tuesday, Suresh explained how her involvement in the controversial case started with a phone call from the former Principal Secretary to the Kerala CM Sivashankar.
“It all began way back in 2016 when the CM was on a trip to UAE. It was then that Sivasankar contacted me first since I was the secretary in the consulate. He told me the chief minister had forgotten to take one of his bags and it had to be taken to Dubai immediately. We sent the bag to the CM through a diplomat in the consulate. When it was brought to the consulate we found that there was currency in it. That's how it all started,” she said.
She added that the contents of the bag were only revealed to her during the baggage scan. Biryani vessels containing heavy metals, according to her statement, were also taken from the consulate general's house to Cliff House, the CM's official residence.
Despite giving detailed testimonies to central investigating agencies, there were several aspects that have not been investigated, she alleged.
She told a magistrate court about the involvement of the chief minister, his wife Kamala, daughter Veena, former minister KT Jaleel and additional private secretary C M Raveendran, and former bureaucrat Nalini Netto, in the case.
The case is about the smuggling of 30 kg gold worth Rs 15 crore from the diplomatic baggage of the UAE Consulate at Thiruvananthapuram airport on 5 July 2020.
The National Investigation Agency, the Enforcement Directorate and the Customs have conducted separate probes into the racket.
Several people, including Sivasankar, the former Principal Secretary to the Kerala CM and former employees of the UAE consulate – Suresh and Sarith PS – were arrested in connection with the case.
After spending 16 months behind bars, Suresh was released in November last year.
(With inputs from The Indian Express.)
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