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Last Updated : Jul 12, 2020 11:20 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Kerala gold smuggling case: Here's what has happened so far

On July 5, customs officials at the Thiruvanthapuram airport seized 30 kg of gold that was addressed to the UAE consulate through a diplomatic baggage.

Representative image
Representative image

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on July 11 arrested Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair in Bengaluru, two of the accused in the gold smuggling case.

On July 5, customs officials at the Thiruvanthapuram airport seized 30 kg of gold that was addressed to the UAE consulate through a diplomatic baggage.

The NIA had on July 10 registered an FIR under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The first information report (FIR) names four individuals  - Swapna Suresh, Sandeep Nair, PS Sarith and Fazil Fareed.

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This is the first time the NIA is investigating gold smuggling, since the case has national and international linkages and it is suspected that the proceeds may have been used for terror financing.

Sarith and Suresh are former employees of the UAE consulate in Thiruvanthapuram. Sarith was arrested by the Customs (Preventive) Department shortly after the gold was seized.

When Suresh was first named in the case, she was working as the operational manager of the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited under the state IT Ministry. She was on the run for a few days before the gold smuggling incident came to light.

The Kerala High Court on July 11 deferred the anticipatory bail plea submitted by Suresh.

The case has political implications, with M Sivasankar being removed as the principal secretary to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over alleged links to Suresh.

Opposition parties in the state, including the Congress and the BJP, have called for Vijayan's resignation. Youth wings of the Congress, Muslim League and BJP have held protests across the state, demanding the Kerala CM's resignation.

Vijayan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling for a coordinated investigation into the matter by all central agencies.
First Published on Jul 12, 2020 11:20 am
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