Sun, 26 Jun 2022

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], June 21 (ANI): Swapna Suresh, the prime accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a CBI inquiry over the role of key functionaries in the state Government in the sensational crime.

"I would like to bring forth to your kind notice that the person who actually committed this heinous smuggling is in fact an IAS Officer, Shivashankar (principal secretary of the Chief Minister of Kerala). Due to the higher rank of the officials, few employees like me had to withstand the worst of this scam. I was simply obeying the orders of my line managers and doing this through the UAE consulate diplomatic channel and had no say in the matters. When it was brought to light by the customs, they left us stranded behind the bar for 15 months for not disclosing anything. Even Mr Shivashankar was in jail for three months. But the Government of Kerala favoured him bail and also granted him a reputed job, allowing him to live a dignified life," Swapna alleged.

"After spending miserable months in prison, HRDS INDIA granted me a job a few months ago, as Director of Women EmpowermentCSR. The NGO has supported me by all means with moral and legal priors to its fullest. They have been standing with me during all my challenging times by securing my employment when I desperately needed one to run my family, and also have been extending their hands by providing all legal and other support", she further wrote.

"Moreover, with the influence of the government, the case investigation has been handed over to the Customs and the NIA, who are trying to manipulate and divert the direction. With the influence of the Principal Secretary, the judicial commission has been placed against the EDCustom. Fortunately, ED is doing its duty perfectly now. To my knowledge, NIA has no role in these kinds of swindles. Just after I submitted '164' in front of the magistrate they are brutally harassing my advocate and harassing me and my relatives emotionally and irrationally harassed my advocate and the current working Organization unwantedly by the government Of Kerala," she wrote.

"I request you to take action against this issue with immediate concern. I plead with you to consider my case on humanitarian grounds, otherwise, I have no other recourse for help. Deprived and unfortunate employees like me will solely be punished, but the real accused will escape from underneath your nose. The Government of Kerala has been involved in such a swindle and used me as a scapegoat for their benefit," Swapna said.

"Other than the Principal Secretary, the Kerala chief minister's family members were also directly involved in this big scam. We can't compare such scams with any other scams executed in India like Bofors, Vedanta, Lavalin or 2G Spectrum. The gravity of the scam is more powerful than theirs. It has jointly executed with other countries' consulates against India. CBI investigation is mandatory to find out the truth. It would be just and fair if the Government of Kerala do not intervene in this matter as government officials themselves are the prime suspects," she wrote asking for a CBI investigation.

"Your strict surveillance is demanded in this case to identify the real culprits. Henceforth, I humbly request you to understand the gravity of the situation and take appropriate measures in this regard. I humbly pray to my Hon'ble Prime Minister to grant me an opportunity to meet you in person and confess my concerns and grievances before you. I am afraid that I'm a soft target and could be taken down by the party through their hostile measures, "she said.

Swapna claimed that baggage containing currency was sent to Vijayan when he was in Dubai in 2016.

The affidavit submitted by Swapna Suresh alleged that 17 tonnes of date imported to Kerala from UAE 'went missing' with the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and former Minister KT Jaleel's knowledge.

The Kerala gold smuggling case pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels. It had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crore smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage was busted by the customs department in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5, 2019.

After spending 16 months behind bars, Swapna was released from jail in November last year.

The case is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate, National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the customs department.

Earlier this year, Swapna Suresh had alleged that she was exploited and manipulated by M Sivasankar, principal secretary of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The statements came after Sivasankar in his upcoming autobiography "Aswathamavu: Verum Oru Aana" alleged that Swapna had trapped him by gifting him an iPhone.Sivasankar was arrested on October 28, 2020, after the Kerala High Court rejected his anticipatory bail petition.

Sivasankar was released on bail on February 4, last year. (ANI)

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