Central Agencies to Investigate Swapna Revelations Against CM and Family Members | Kerala News
Thiruvananthapuram: Central investigative agencies are planning to look further into the latest revelations by Swapna Suresh, a key defendant in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case, against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Currently, only the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Customs have submitted reports after conducting separate investigations. The Enforcement Department (ED) is still investigating.
The ED would step up their investigation since Swapna made it clear that what she said were not mere allegations but detailed facts which were given in the form of a secret statement to the court.
Once the ED obtains the copy of the secret statement, he will re-record the statement from Swapna. Only later will a decision be made whether or not to include the chief minister and his family members in the investigation.
On Tuesday, Swapna revealed that CM Pinarayi Vijayan was involved in the scam. She told the media that a piece of luggage containing currency was sent to CM Vijayan when he was in Dubai in 2016. She also said in her secret statement recorded in a first class court that she told about CM involvement, wife Kamala, daughter Veena, former principal secretary M Sivasankar, additional private secretary CM Raveendran, former bureaucrat Nalini Netto and former minister KT Jaleel. The confidential statement was recorded under article 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Earlier, the statement made by the first defendant Sarith also contained a reference to the forgotten bag. Now that Swapna has revealed the same, a detailed investigation into the matter will be undertaken.
Although customs has already provided a report after completing the investigation, this would get more information from Swapna in the context of its latest revelations.
Earlier, the Customs Preventive Wing found no evidence against Chief Minister and former Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan regarding the allegation made by the accused regarding foreign currency smuggling.
Customs are also said to be trying to get more clarity from Swapna on their allegation that precious metals were concealed in the cauldron of biriyani sent from the UAE’s Thiruvananthapuram consulate to Cliff House, the official residence of Kerala’s chief minister.
It was in mid-2020 that Customs busted a smuggling racket linked to the consulate. The investigation revealed that consular staff were hand in hand with gold smugglers in Kerala and the Middle East. They used diplomatic baggage to smuggle. Money laundering was also likely attempted by the entrenched trade union which enjoyed political patronage.