A day after registering an FIR in connection to the Kerala gold smuggling case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has now arrested Sandeep Nair and Swapna Suresh in Bengaluru, sources have told Republic TV. Suresh will be produced before an NIA office in Kochi on Sunday.
Various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 have been slapped against Sandeep Nair and Swapna Suresh . The NIA is probing whether the gold smuggling was linked to activities detrimental to national security. It has been alleged that the money from the smuggled gold may have been used for terrorist activities. Another accused Sarith Kumar is likely to be produced before an NIA court after July 15.
On July 5, Customs officials seized 30 kg of gold worth Rs.15 crore at the Thiruvananthapuram Airport from a diplomatic cargo addressed to a person in the UAE Consulate. Sarith Kumar, who worked at the UAE Consulate was arrested in this regard. Reportedly, he told the Customs about the role of Swapna Suresh, an ex-Consulate employee now working as the manager of the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited.
The case took a political turn after photos with Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan surfaced. It has been alleged that Swapna has links with the CM and has been seen with him at parties when she was working at the UAE Consulate. Following the backlash over her appointment, she was sacked by the state government. Moreover, Principal Secretary to CM M Sivasankar has been replaced after his role in hiring Suresh came under the scanner.