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Kerala gold smuggling case: NIA arrests prime accused Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair from Bengaluru

Bengaluru: In a major breakthrough in the gold smuggling case in Kerala, the National Investigation Agency has arrested prime accused Swapna Prabha Suresh and her accomplice Sandeep Nair from Bengaluru.

Both have been detained from Bangalore along with their family members. They will be produced before the NIA office in Cochin on Sunday. Swapna Suresh is the second accused and Nair is the third accused in the case.

It is to be noted here that both Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair were nabbed in Bengaluru while strict lockdown norms have been imposed by the both Karnataka and Kerala due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The development comes just hours after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that an inquiry will be conducted into the complaint filed regarding the alleged fake degree certificate submitted by Suresh to secure an appointment for a government project under the state IT department.

“The Kerala Police has no role in it. Regarding the fake certificate of the woman in question (Swapna Suresh), a complaint has been filed today. The police will investigate it,” Vijayan said on Saturday.

The Kerala BJP unit has also reportedly questioned the Chief Minister as to how they both managed to leave the state when stringent lockdown measures have been imposed on the borders.

She had allegedly furnished a fake B.Com certificate to secure an appointment in Space Systems Park in Thiruvananthapuram, which falls under the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited (KSITIL).

Swapna is a former employee of the United Arab Emirates consulate and is among four accused who have been booked by the NIA for smuggling 30 kilograms of gold in a diplomatic baggage.

The Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate in Kochi seized the gold worth Rs 15 crores at the Trivandrum International Airport on July 5.

The NIA had registered an FIR against Sarith, Swapna and Sandeep Nair of Thiruvananthapuram, and Fazil Fareed of Ernakulam under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

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