Published On: Tue, Jun 7th, 2022

Swapna Suresh names Kerala CM Vijayan, his wife in gold smuggling case

Kochi: Kerala gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh, who had promised to make more revelations about the case, on Tuesday directly named Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, his wife, daughter, two top aides to Vijayan and one Cabinet minister in connection with the case.

I have been asked by the court to show restraint and since I respect the court

She said she has given a statement under Section 164 of the CrPC naming the Chief Minister, his wife Kamala Vijayan, daughter Veena Vijayan, former State Chief Secretary Nalini Netto, Additional Private Secretary to Kerala Chief Minister CM Raveendran and former Kerala Education Minister and current legislator KT Jaleel.

After giving her statement before a local magistrate in Kochi on Monday, Swapna had said she will speak to the media on Tuesday.

“I have been advised by the court to show restraint while I speak and hence I am not able to speak everything about the gold smuggling case. It all began in 2016 when Vijayan first went to the UAE. Then M Sivasankar (former Kerala Principal Secretary to Vijayan and top IAS official) had asked me to make all arrangements for his visit in the UAE and I did it through our UAE Consulate in Kerala,” she said.

“The next day, I get a call from Sivasankar saying that Vijayan has forgotten a bag and it should be immediately sent to him. At the Consulate office, there is a scanner and when we scanned the bag, it was filled with money,” Swapna added.

She further said that on many occasions, a biriyani vessel was transported from the house of the UAE Consulate General in India to the residence of the Kerala Chief Minister.

“This has happened on several occasions and it has been found out that it contained metal-like objects. This was done under instructions from Sivasankar,” Swapna added.

She said she made the same revelations to the various central probe agencies but this was being told to the media for the first time.

“I have been asked by the court to show restraint and since I respect the court, I am revealing only this much now. May be in the coming days I will be making more revelations,” said Swapna, soon after coming out from the court after recording her statement under Section 164 of the CrPC.

She pointed out that in the past also she has said the same thing to the various agencies, but this is being said to the media for the first time.

“I have been asked by the court to show restraint and since I respect the court, I am saying only this much now. May be in the coming days I will be revealing more,” said Swapna, soon after coming out from the court, where she was giving her statement under section 164.

On Monday, she had told the media that she testified before a magistrate that she fears a threat to her life and other things about the case pertaining to the unaccounted money that was recovered from her bank locker, as well as of other accused in the case.

Reacting to Swapna’s statement, Sivasankar said the former’s allegations against him are frivolous while Nalini Netto refused to comment on the allegations levelled against her.

It was in February 2022 after a round of fresh revelations by Swapna, she was asked to appear before the Enforcement Directorate officials.

Though there was nothing much happening in the case, the recent release of the autobiography of Sivasankar in which he claimed that “he never did any favour to Swapna” and added that “he never knew the iPhone that was gifted to him by her was part of a bribe” drew a furious response from Swapna.

Swapna alleged that it was Sivasankar “who destroyed her life” and “all what she knew, he also knew”.

She also pointed out that he had told her that he will take voluntary retirement and settle down with her in the UAE.

She said that it was with his help that she along with her husband and children and their friend Sandip Nair, managed to sneak out of Kerala when the gold smuggling case surfaced in July 2020, when the entire state was under massive Covid travel restrictions.

Another revelation by her was that of the two audio clips involving her, one which came out on the day she and her family were on the run to Bengaluru and another while in custody, she said, it was all stage managed and directed by Sivasankar and others.

Meanwhile, the other central agencies — Customs and Intelligence Bureau — have also registered cases supplementary to the gold smuggling case and in all these, Swapna is an accused and now out on bail.

After explosive revelations by Kerala gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh, state Congress president K Sudhakaran on Tuesday demanded Vijayan’s immediate resignation.

“In the country such a thing is being heard of for the first time where a Chief Minister is alleged to have smuggled gold in a biriyani vessel. We demand Vijayan to resign and a probe be ordered under the monitoring of a court. There were lots of agencies which probed this and at the end it was a settlement between the BJP and the CPI-M. Even the family members of Vijayan are named. This is really shameless and he should quit,” said Sudhakaran and added that the Congress led UDF will meet soon to decide the future course of action.

For Vijayan, Kerala Police on Tuesday set up unprecedented security to ensure that no media personnel comes anywhere close to him when he arrived at the airport here.

The media was present in good numbers, but they were shocked to see that a big rope was tied far away from where the car to pick Vijayan had come.

Journalists were shouting at the top of their voice asking what he has to say about the fresh revelation by Swapna Suresh of his role.

But Vijayan, feigning ignorance of what was being asked, got into his car and drove away amid unprecedented security.

Top Congress legislator and former Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala also slammed the role of Vijayan in gold smuggling case.

Speaking to the media, Chennithala said his position has now been vindicated.

“I had raised then that Vijayan knew everything and he is the prime accused in this case. Whatever he does to hide, the truth will emerge. I raise things only which I am sure of. Had a proper probe then done by the various central agencies, it would have come out then. Then there were speculations that the BJP and the CPI-M were hand in glove. A fresh probe will bring out everything,” said Chennithala and added that he has no clue of what Vijayan’s family members role was as I don’t speak of things I don’t know.

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