NIA confirms Kerala gold smuggling accused had good connection with CM Vijayan's office
In a major development in the Kerala gold smuggling case, National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigating the case said on Thursday the prime accused Swapna Suresh had strong connection with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office.
Assistant Solicitor General P Vijaykumar said in NIA court at Kochi while opposing the bail plea of Swapna Suresh that she had established a good rapport with the CM’s office through suspended senior bureaucrat M Sivasankar with whom she had more than official dealings and was a good family friend, who helped her get good postings.
Assistant Solicitor General also added the investigation so far has not proved Sivasankar's involvement in the release of the Dubai consignment when Customs blocked it due to some suspicion despite repeated pleas from Swapna Suresh.
The case came to light on July 5 after 30 kg of gold was seized from the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.
As per recent reports, Swapna Suresh's flat association member alleged that Kerala IT Secretary Sivasankaran was a regular vistor there. IT secratary was on radar before as well in relation with Sprinklr scam.
After the NIA affidavit came out, the opposition Congress and BJP stepped up pressure seeking the resignation of the CM. “The CM can’t get away by sacrificing his secretary. He should resign at least now,” said opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala. The CM is expected to comment during the daily press briefing later in the evening.