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Kerala gold smuggling case accused named CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Assembly speaker in statement: Customs chief tells HC

Customs Commissioner Sumit Kumar said in the Kerala High Court that Swapna Suresh -- the prime accused in the case -- has also named the Kerala Assembly Speaker, three members of the Vijayan Cabinet, and other top officials of the state government while recording her statement.

March 05, 2021 / 04:46 PM IST
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

Customs commissioner Sumit Kumar told the Kerala High Court on March 5 that Swapna Suresh – the prime accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case -- has alleged that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan colluded with the former Consul General of United Arab Emirates for illegal monetary transactions.

Kumar, who is investigating the Kerala gold smuggling case, said in court: “She (Suresh) has also stated with clarity about the smuggling of foreign currency at the instance of the chief minister and the speaker with the help of the consulate. She has also clearly stated about the improper and illegal activities of three ministers of the state cabinet and the speaker.”

Kumar further said in the High Court that Suresh has also named the Kerala Assembly Speaker, three members of the Vijayan Cabinet, and other top officials of the state government while recording her statement.

According to a News 18 report, Swapna Suresh made the damning accusations while giving her statement before the magistrate in Ernakulam.

Suresh has also levelled accusations of illegal monetary transactions against, the statement reads.

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The revelations about Vijayan and his Cabinet come weeks ahead of the Kerala Assembly elections 2021.

The customs commissioner has said that Suresh has mentioned kickbacks received by high-profile persons through various deals and she has also claimed that she was witness to these transactions. The accused reportedly acted as the translator to facilitate transactions between the mentioned parties as she is well versed in Arabic.

Kumar’s statement to the HC further revealed: “The role of the former Principal Secretary in acting as the link between the high profile politicians of Kerala and the UAE Consulate officials as well as some others, and in coordinating the illegal financial dealings under the cover of various activities and projects of the State Government was also revealed by her.”

The Kerala gold smuggling case dates back to 2019, but the racket was unearthed after customs officials seized 30 kg of gold concealed in a diplomatic baggage in July 2020.
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