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Kerala gold smuggling case: Swapna Suresh sticks to allegation against CM Vijayan, says she has no agenda

Meanwhile, a team of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) on Wednesday took into custody P S Sarith, another accused in the gold smuggling case, in connection with a case related to the state government housing scheme Life Mission.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: June 9, 2022 2:35:21 am
Kerala gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh , Pinarayi Vijayan, kerala news, Indian expressSwapna is lodged at a sub-jail in Thiruvananthapuram.

Swapna Suresh, one of the accused in the gold smuggling through diplomatic baggage case, said on Wednesday that there was no “political or personal agenda” behind her allegation the previous day that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had taken a bag full of currency to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2016.

Hours after Suresh met the media in Palakkad on Wednesday, a team of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) took into custody P S Sarith, another accused in the gold smuggling case, from their flat in Palakkad. He was taken into custody in connection with a VACB probe in a case related to the state government housing scheme Life Mission, which was implemented with aid from the Red Crescent.

Suresh raised the allegation before the media in Kochi on Tuesday after giving a statement at a local court as per section 164 of CrPC in a money laundering case that came up during the probe into gold smuggling. Following this, Vijayan refuted the allegation saying that it was part of a “certain agenda” against him.

Sures said on Wednesday: “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.”

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Referring to CM Vijayan’s wife Kamala and daughter Veena, against whom also she had raised allegations related to the scandal, Suresh said: “Kamala and Veena are leading luxurious lives. only I am left to suffer. No one should use my statements before the investigating agencies for their personal agenda.”

Suresh, a former executive secretary at the consulate, had told the media on Tuesday that she had testified against Kamala, Veena, Vijayan’s former principal secretary M Sivasankar, his chief principal secretary Nalini Netto and former minister KT Jaleel over their involvement in gold smuggling. “I cannot reveal more,’’ she had said.

Referring to the alleged involvement of Vijayan in taking currency to the UAE, Suresh had said: “Sivasankar had met me for the first time in 2016 when I was the executive secretary to the Consul General. Sivasankar told me that the CM had forgotten to carry a bag, which needed to be taken to Dubai. When the bag was brought to the consulate (in Thiruvananthapuram), we scanned it and realised that it contained currency. I cannot reveal everything about my statement before the court,” she said.

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Suresh said that on several occasions, utensils used for cooking ‘biryani’ were sent to the Cliff House (the official residence of the CM) from the consulate. “The transfer of utensils made of heavy metals from the consulate to the Cliff House had taken place many times. This had been done at the instance of Sivasankar,” she had said.

Reacting to the allegation, Vijayan, in a statement, had said there was no truth in it. “When the gold smuggling case came out, the state government had urged the Centre to conduct a comprehensive probe. Due to political reasons, certain allegations have been repeatedly made against us. This is part of a certain agenda…I am sure Kerala society will give a befitting reply to those trying to harvest gains through baseless allegations.”

After Suresh’s revelations on Tuesday, Opposition leader V D Satheesan of the Congress sought Vijayan’s resignation as chief minister. The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) convenor E P Jayarajan denounced the Opposition’s demand even as the Congress in the state observes Wednesday as a ‘black day’.

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First published on: 08-06-2022 at 01:37:59 pm

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