Kerala Gold Smuggling: Main accused is under NIA custody
A special court in Kerala's sensational gold smuggling case on Friday sent the main accused to NIA custody for seven days.
Kochi: A special court in Kerala's sensational gold smuggling case on Friday sent the main accused to NIA custody for seven days. The NIA special court, considering an application filed by the investigating agency, remanded Sarith P.S., a former employee of the UAE consulate in Kerala.
Sarith under NIA custody:
Sarith was arrested by the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate last week in connection with the seizure of gold worth about Rs 15 crore from 'diplomatic baggage' at Thiruvananthapuram International Airport recently. He was in the custody of the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate till 15 July. Sarith will be interrogated in the presence of two other accused, Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, in NIA custody.
The NIA, in its application requesting Sarith to be detained, said that he is one of the main accused in the case and that he needs to be detained and questioned to find out the truth. Meanwhile, the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate conducted raids at various places on Friday. Sources said the ancestral residence of Gulf businessman Faizal Farid was raided. Farid has also been accused by the NIA in the case.
Swapna Suresh main accused:
Swapna Suresh is main accused in the case. A former employee of the UAE consulate, Swapna Suresh was hired by a private firm to work on the project of the IT department of Kerala. This department works under Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Principal Secretary to CM M Shivshankar was the head of this department.
Investigations so far have revealed that Swapna Suresh had contact with powerful people in Kerala and received numerous calls in the current case of gold smuggling. Her call data records show that she has spoken to the UAE consulate 138 times, while to PS Sarith (another key accused) 45 times, 28 times to a UAE diplomat.