Swapna Suresh | Photo: TK Pradeep Kumar
Kochi: Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday interrogated the prime accused of the Kerala gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh for five and a half hours and summoned her again tomorrow.
Suresh was interrogated for at least 11 hours on two consecutive days in the last week.
"I am no one to give the counter (to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan). Let the interrogation get over... they (ED) have a lot of proof with them. There is a questioning tomorrow as well," Suresh said on her way back from the ED, reacting to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan's denial of the allegations.
Suresh had accused Vijayan, along with his wife and daughter of their involvement in the matter. She had claimed that the baggage containing currency was sent to Vijayan when he was in Dubai in 2016 on the instructions of Sivasankar.
Earlier this year, Swapna Suresh had alleged that she was exploited and manipulated by M Sivasankar, principal secretary of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.The statements came after Sivasankar in his upcoming autobiography "Aswathamavu: Verum Oru Aana" alleged that Swapna had trapped him by gifting him an iPhone.
"Way back in 2016, Sivasankar contacted me while the Chief Minister was in Dubai. At that time, I was the secretary at the consulate. Sivasankar told me that the CM had forgotten a bag which should be delivered to Dubai immediately. As per the instruction of the consulate general, the bag was handed over to a diplomat at the consulate. When the bag was brought in by the consulate official, we realised that it contained currency. We have a scanning machine in the consulate. Then we have to scan whatever parcel arrives there. That's how it all started," she had said.
Meanwhile, in her address to the mediapersons on Monday, the prime accused of the gold smuggling scam said, "Crime Branch has summoned me today based on the complaint of KT Jaleel and based on the statements of dignified personalities like Saritha S Nair. But I will not be able to go today because ED is questioning me today as well. I am going to ED now. Once they finish their interrogation, after that I will go to Crime Branch. I have already informed the Superintendent of Police and the concerned authorities."
Thiruvananthapuram cantonment police have registered a case against Swapna on Jaleel's complaint on June 8 this year seeking a probe into the charges made by Swapna Suresh against him in the gold smuggling case and alleged that she conspired and made defaming statements against him.
The police registered the case under Section 153 (wantonly giving provocation with an intent to cause riot) and Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) against her.
ED interrogated her with respect to her 164 statements at the court and allegations against Vijayan and his family became controversial.
An affidavit submitted by Swapna Suresh alleged that 17 tonnes of dates imported to Kerala from UAE 'went missing' with Vijayan and former Minister KT Jaleel's knowledge.
The Kerala gold smuggling case pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels. It had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crore smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage was busted by the customs department in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5, 2020.
After spending 16 months behind bars, Swapna was released from jail in November last year. The case is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate, National Investigation Agency (NIA), and the customs department.
Sivasankar was arrested on October 28, 2020, after the Kerala High Court rejected his anticipatory bail petition. Sivasankar was released on bail on February 4, last year.