Oppn stages walkout from Kerala Assembly as Speaker denies permission to discuss gold smuggling case

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Thiruvananthapuram: Following the revelations by Swapna Suresh, prime accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case, the Opposition staged a walkout from the state Assembly on Thursday after the Speaker allegedly denied permission to discuss the matter in the House.

Congress MLA and Leader of Opposition, V D Satheesan demanded a detailed discussion on the matter and alleged that the Speaker of the Assembly refused their demands stating that the matter is subjudice and there is no emergency for the matter to be discussed.

Earlier in the day, Congress MLA Shafi Parambil moved an adjournment motion notice demanding a discussion on the revelations made in the gold smuggling case by accused Swapna Suresh.

Satheesan alleged that there was a serious allegation against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan that he has tried to transfer foreign currency to Gulf countries.

The Congress leader said that the Chief Minister has serious allegations and other Ministers that Vijayan tried to transfer funds to the Gulf countries.

"In the confession statement under section 108 of the customs act, the customs commissioner has filed an affidavit in the customs court. There is a serious allegation against the chief minister and other ministers that the Chief Minister tried to transfer some foreign currency from Kerala to Gulf countries. These are the severe allegations against the Chief Minister," he said.

Satheesan further alleged that the Chief Minister does not want to discuss the matter on the floor of the House.

"In the confession statement, she described it in detail. She admitted some evidence also. There is concrete evidence against the chief minister that he has transferred a huge amount of foreign currency from Kerala to golf countries. The Chief Minister knows that it will be discussed on the floor and that is why he was not ready to discuss it on the floor," he said.

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, 2019.

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 Investigative Agency (NIA) and the customs department.


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