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Kerala gold smuggling: Judicial custody of Sarith PS, Swapna Suresh, Sandeep Nair extended till Sept 9

ANI | Updated: Aug 26, 2020 21:41 IST

Kochi (Kerala) [India], Aug 26 (ANI): A special PMLA court in Kochi on Wednesday extended the judicial custody of three key accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case -- Sarith PS, Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair -- till September 9.
The three accused were examined by the special court via video conferencing.
The Enforcement Directorate today also submitted before the court that it has issued notices to more people who allegedly paid commissions to the prime accused Swapna Suresh.
The ED, in its report, said that it interrogated the director of Sane Ventures LLP which was also involved in the construction of an apartment complex at Vadakancherry in Thrissur as part of the Life Mission project funded by the UAE Red Crescent.

"The statement of Vinod PV, Director of Sane Venture LLP, Ernakulam, was recorded on Tuesday wherein he inter alia stated that he did not pay any commission to Swapna. Further summons to other persons alleged to have paid commissions to Swapna have also been issued for recording their statements," the report said.
The economic offences watchdog also mentioned that the statement given by former Principal Secretary M Sivasankar's chartered accountant Venugopal in the report.
"He admitted that as a joint locker holder, he is answerable to the cash and the valuables kept in the bank locker and Swapna has not informed him of the source of the said gold and cash," the ED submitted before the court.
The three key accused in the gold smuggling case -- Sarith PS, Swapna Suresh, and Sandeep Nair -- were sent to judicial custody till August 26 by a Kochi court.
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 on July 5. (ANI)