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Kerala CM Pinarayi involved in smuggling foreign currency, accused Swapna revealed: Customs Chief to HC
Swapna has also leveled accusations of illegal monetary transactions against Kerala Assembly Speaker
Customs Commissioner Sumit Kumar, who is investigating the Kerala gold smuggling case, has made the startling claim in a court filing that prime accused Swapna Suresh has given a statement about smuggling of foreign currency at the instance of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Swapna has also leveled accusations of illegal monetary transactions against Kerala Assembly Speaker and three members of the Vijayan Cabinet, the statement reads.
The damning revelations have come just before the assembly elections in Kerala next month, and the CM has found himself as the target of corruption allegations because of the smuggling racket. Five central agencies are conducting the probe, which has been alleged to be politically motivated by Vijayan.
The Customs commissioner, in his statement to the HC, said Swapna had revealed her close connection to the CM and his former principal secretary M Sivasankar, who is currently out on bail.
“The role of the former Principal Secretary in acting as the link between the high profile politicians of Kerala and the UAE Consulate officials as well as some others, and in coordinating the illegal financial dealings under the cover of various activities and projects of the State Government was also revealed by her,” the statement added.
The case emerged after custom officials had seized gold weighing 30 kg concealed in imported plumbing material in July last year. The air cargo consignment was addressed to the Consular General of the United Arab Emirates in Thiruvananthapuram district. Officials valued the gold at Rs 15 crore. Swapna Suresh had worked at the consulate-general’s office until seven months ago along with another key accused, Sarith PS.