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ED approaches special PMLA court, seeks permission to question accused in Kerala gold smuggling case

ANI | Updated: Dec 11, 2020 18:53 IST

Kochi (Kerala) [India], December 11 (ANI): The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has approached the Special Court for Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) seeking permission to question Kerala gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh and Sarith PS for three days at jails where they are lodged.
The court on Monday will consider the ED's petition in the case, which pertains to the smuggling of gold into the state through diplomatic channels.
In the petition, ED said, "it is learnt that the involvement of former principal secretary of the Kerala CMO M Sivasankar and other high-profile persons in the smuggling of gold as well as foreign currency has come to light following the latest revelations during the custodial interrogation of Sivasankar, Sarith, and Swapna by the customs officers. It has become highly necessary to question Sarith and Swapna to collect vital information. In the interest of justice, it is highly necessary to permit the investigating officer and assistant investigating officer to question Sarith and Swapna for three days at the jail."

Both the accused Swapna Suresh and Sarith PS are lodged in Attakkulangara jail in Thiruvananthapuram under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act (COFEPOSA). They are being taken to custody by different agencies probing the case.
On Tuesday, the main accused in the case Swapna Suresh approached the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) Court, seeking a directive to the Kerala Government to provide protection to her life, alleging that she had received threats in jail.
The case, which is currently being probed by the Enforcement Directorate, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), and the Customs Department, pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels.
The matter had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crore, smuggled in a diplomatic cargo, was busted by the Customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5. (ANI)