News

Kerala gold smuggling case: National Investigation Agency opposes bail plea of accused

Our Bureau Kochi/Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on August 06, 2020 Published on August 06, 2020

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing into the case of smuggling of gold through the diplomatic route at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport has opposed the bail application of the accused, submitting that their connivance with a large network of dubious elements needs to be examined further.

P Vijayakumar, Assistant Solicitor General, informed the NIA Special Court in Kochi on Thursday, that the investigation into the large amounts of money mobilised abroad for the procurement of gold, its smuggling, circulation and encashment calls for a detailed investigation. A probe is also needed to trace how the contraband reached the local market.

 

The NIA informed the court that the second accused in the case, Swapna Suresh, has claimed that she had personal acquaintance with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in her official capacity as the representative of UAE Consular General.

The accused had also given statements to the effect that she enjoyed high-level connections among top bureaucrats as well as the Office of the Chief Minister. She admitted to having known top police officers after connecting with them for arranging training in the UAE on traffic reforms.

At some point of time, the accused had planned to settle down in Tanzania along with co-accused Sandeep Nair. As already mentioned, she was linked to a network of highly influential persons in the bureaucracy, the police and the Consulate. But she also worked hand in glove with persons involved in the smuggling of gold in large quantities.

No evidence of terrorists activities

Counsel for Swapna Suresh submitted that the NIA could not gather any evidence in the case to establish a terrorism angle in the case. The accused has been in custody for over 25 days, but the investigating agency has failed to prove its charges.

The NIA suspects that the money collected through the smuggling of gold may have been used for anti-national and terrorist activities, and has invoked the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prohibition) Act. The court has posted the case for order on August 10.

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on August 06, 2020
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor