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Kerala gold smuggling case: Kochi court reserves order on Swapna Suresh's bail plea

ANI | Updated: Aug 07, 2020 18:24 IST

Kochi (Kerala) [India], Aug 7 (ANI): A Kochi court on Friday reserved for August 12 its order on the bail plea of Swapna Suresh, a key accused in the high-profile Kerala gold smuggling case.
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) was hearing the bail plea, Swapna Suresh, claiming she was innocent and that the current case is the offshoot of the political rivalry between the state and the Central governments.
During the arguments today, the customs department submitted that it has strong evience against Swapna and added that the wife of another accused in the matter has given a statement against her in the matter.
"The customs has strong evience against Swapna. There are more evidence than her confession. Soumya, who is the wife of another accused Sandeep Nair has given statement against Swapna," the customs department submitted.
"Swapna tried to send back the baggage because she was sure there was gold in it. And she left Kerala to Bengaluru by using her higher connections. She was sure to pass through the checkpost without problems, despite the rigorous checking in this COVID-19 period," it added.

The customs department submitted that all the accused had one day gathered at a flat near the Kerala Secretariat to conspire the smuggling along with a high-ranking government officer.
"If such influential people are released on bail then what will be the status of the case?" the department said.
During an earlier hearing, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is also probing the case, had opposed the bail plea and submitted before the court that Swapna had established a link with the Chief Minister's Office through its former principal secretary M Sivasankar.
It had also submitted that around Rs 1 crore cash and 982.5 grams gold ornaments were seized from two bank lockers of Swapna Suresh during the investigation in the matter.
The matter, which pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels, had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crores, smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage, was busted by customs in Thiruvananthapuram. (ANI)