According to Swapna Suresh, the principal accused in the Kerala Gold Smuggling case, another co-accused PS Sarith was abducted on Wednesday by some unknown persons. Sarith was allegedly kidnapped from Swapna Suresh’s home on Wednesday morning after she told the media that there was a threat to her life. She said the kidnapping happened just minutes after her press conference this morning.
Swapna said, “Earlier you asked what the threat was. Now it is no longer threats, the attacks have started. HRDS India staff Sarith has been forcefully kidnapped from my home by 3-4 unknown people.” She said that Sarith was taken away by some people who claimed to be vigilance officials but they did not show their identity cards.
“They have started their attacks. Can you imagine that? I only spoke a little, did not speak in detail and already they have become scared. This is a signal of that. They are confessing on their own through such dirty tactics,” she further added.
When asked about allegations that PS Sarith was apprehended by state government Vigilance officers, she stated his counsel has already begun legal proceedings, including the filing of a habeas corpus petition, to seek his liberation.
It is worth noting that Swapna has levelled grave charges against Kerala CM Pinaryi Vijayan and his family. Swapna Suresh had gone to a Judicial First Class Magistrate Court in Kochi to record her secret statement under Section 164. On Tuesday, the recording of statements proceeded. Swapna told reporters following her testimony on Tuesday that a bag containing money was given to CM Vijayan when he was in Dubai in 2016.
Swapna informed the court of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s involvement in the gold smuggling scam, as well as his former principal secretary M Sivasankar, the CM’s wife Kamala, daughter Veena, his additional private secretary C M Raveendran, former bureaucrat Nalini Netto, and former minister K T Jaleel.
The Kerala Gold Smuggling Scam
On July 5, 2020, customs authorities at Thiruvananthapuram International Airport seized gold weighing more than 30 kg and worth around Rs 15 crore. This gold was hidden in diplomatic luggage and air freighted to the UAE embassy.
Customs officers took action after receiving evidence that the luggage was part of a smuggling network attempting to misappropriate the name of a diplomat with diplomatic immunity.
Swapna Suresh is the lead defendant in this case. A private company hired Swapna Suresh, a former employee of the UAE consulate, to work on a project for the Kerala Information Technology Department, which is overseen by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. M Sivasankar, the CM’s principal secretary, was in charge of this department previously.
Notably, Swapna Suresh had already raised severe charges against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and three cabinet members in connection with the gold smuggling issue. Suresh additionally stated to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in October 2020 that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan met with the Consul General of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) many times in 2017.