In a shocking revelation by Swapna Suresh, a prime suspect in the Kerala gold smuggling case, the names of the Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan and three other cabinet ministers from the Kerala government have surfaced. She mentioned that the illegal activities were happening right under the CM’s nose through diplomatic channels.
Suresh also mentioned the name of the speaker of the house, P Sreeramakrishnan was well-aware of the ongoing gold smuggling. The customs department recorded her statement under Section 164 CrPc and Section 108 of the Customs Act. Swapna Suresh was a former executive secretary at the UAE Consulate-General Office in Thiruvananthapuram.
In her statement, Suresh also revealed big names involved in the gold smuggling case of Kerala like M Shivashankar, a former secretary of the CM, and other high-ranking state officials.
The commissioner of Customs (Preventive), Sumit Kumar, presented Suresh’s statement in response to a petition filed by the Director Generals of the Prisons and correctional services after she asked for protection in the prison. Suresh feared for her life after she revealed the kingpins of the smuggling racket. The lower court of Kerala accepted her demand and granted permission.
The customs statement read, “The respondent (Swapna Suresh) had clearly stated about the improper and illegal activities of the CM, three ministers, and the Speaker. She has also further stated about the involvement and kickbacks received by high-profile persons from various deals”
Suresh mentioned the hand in gloves of a former secretary working in the nexus between the high officials of the Kerala government, prominent politicians and the UAE Consulate officials. It was stated that they were, allegedly, working in a smuggling ring. In addition to this, it was also speculated that they were processing illegal financial activities covertly under the diplomatic hat.
The gold smuggling case of Kerala came to light in July 2020 and by now, more than 30 accused have been arrested. TFI reported that the scam was being used to finance terror operations in the country. As various reports surfaced regarding the growing number of radicalised youth joining terrorist organisations, funding through illegal financial channels seems evident.
30 kilograms of gold worth Rs 15 crores seized by the Customs department was found in diplomatic cargo addressed to the UAE -consulate- General Office in Thiruvananthapuram.
The state of Kerala is going to face state elections in the upcoming month, in the face of the fact that the Kerala government would have least expected such accusations from a prime suspect. The Communist government of Kerala is in power for decades. BJP’s growing influence and the corruption case will be giving a serious dent to the ruling party in the assembly elections.