A special National Investigation Agency court in Kochi on Friday remanded three main accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case to judicial custody till August 21, ANI reported. The three are Sarith PS, Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair.
Customs department authorities recorded the arrests of Suresh and Nair, Mathrubhumi reported. Suresh claimed that she had faced mental torture in prison, and her statement to customs officials about her role in the case was due to this.
The customs department too wishes to interrogate Suresh and Nair, but an application in this regard can be submitted only on Monday. The court will hear the bail applications of Suresh and Nair on August 5.
Meanwhile, the NIA has directed Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s former Principal Secretary M Sivasankar to present himself once again for interrogation at the agency’s Kochi office on Monday, Manorama Online reported. The agency had questioned the suspended Indian Administrative Service officer at the Police Club in Thiruvananthapuram for five hours on Thursday.
The NIA has asked officials handling the CCTV at the State Secretariat to hand over all the footage recorded from July 1 to July 14.
On July 5, gold weighing 30 kg concealed in imported plumbing material was seized by the Customs officials upon inspection of an air cargo consignment addressed to the Consular General of the United Arab Emirates in Thiruvananthapuram district. Officials valued the gold at Rs 15 crore.
The customs department arrested Sarith on the same day for allegedly facilitating the smuggling of the gold in diplomatic baggage from Thiruvananthapuram to Dubai.
Sarith and Suresh worked at the consulate-general’s office until six months ago. Later, the state government had appointed Suresh as marketing liaison officer of the Space Park project under the IT Department’s Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited. Her contract was terminated after the allegations surfaced.
Sivasankar was also removed as the principal secretary of Vijayan after Opposition leaders questioned his alleged association with the three accused.
On July 22, the Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering complaint in the case. The Enforcement Case Information Report, equivalent to a first information report, will enable the directorate to attach the properties of the accused.