The sensational Thiruvananthapuram Airport Gold smuggling case involving the smuggling of 30 kg gold in Kerala will be taken over by the National Investigating Agency, the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Thursday.
The MHA said that the organised smuggling operation may have serious implications for national security.
Earlier in the day, the prime suspect in the recent gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh, who is on the run, has finally broken her silence in an audio message, saying she had no role to play in the matter.
Swapna, a high-profile woman happens to be close to the ruling Left Democratic Front government in the state.
In the audio which surfaced on Thursday, Swapna said she had no role to play in the smuggling case.
“All what I did was when I was asked by the Consulate on the delay in the baggage getting cleared, I spoke to the Customs. All I did was that, and I have no idea from where the baggage came and what its contents were and such details. The loss in the present controversy is for me and my family and I am in hiding because of fear. I am on the verge of committing suicide as I am being taken to task and I have nothing to do with this smuggling,” said a sobbing Swapna.
Earlier on Sunday, Opposition coming out against the role played by M Sivasankaran, the private secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The leader of the opposition and senior Congressman Ramesh Chennithala has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the “misuse of diplomatic immunity of UAE Consulate, Thiruvananthapuram by international gold smuggling cartels with the collusion of officials working for the Kerala government, who have deep-rooted connections with decision-makers at the CMO.”
“I solicit your immediate intervention to investigate into this nefarious act, which has serious implications on India’s national security and the potential to irreparably damage age-old friendly ties between India and the UAE,” the letter read.
The Congress leader has alleged that the main accused in the case, a woman named Swapna Suresh — former Operations Manager with Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd — was appointed by the state government, disregarding reports of intelligence against her and a probe against her by the Crime Branch of Kerala Police.
He further said that the UAE government has “condemned the misuse of diplomatic channels of their consulate” in an official communique and has “unequivocally affirmed that its mission and diplomatic staff have no role in it.”
Chennithala asserted that the issue of misusing diplomatic channels is a violation of the clauses of Geneva Convention of the UN which grants immunity to diplomatic baggage.
Chief Minister had refuted the allegations against his office in the gold smuggling case. “BJP state president has come out with baseless allegations against my office. The Chief Minister’s office does not promote any illegal activities,” Pinarayi Vijayan said.
Pinarayi Vijayan also feigned ignorance as to how Swapna Suresh, who was allegedly involved in the gold smuggling case, was posted in the government IT department. “I don’t know how she got the job. I will check this and inform,” he said.