Gold smuggling accused Swapna had links with Kerala CM’s office: NIA

Kochi: In an unexpected twist to the sensational gold smuggling case that will have repercussions in Kerala politics, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has stated that prime accused in the case Swapna Suresh had links with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office.

This was stated by the Assistant Solicitor General Vijayakumar, who appeared for the NIA, while opposing Swapna’s bail plea at the NIA Special Court in Kochi on Thursday.

The court will decide on the bail application on Monday.

The Assistant Solicitor General told the court that Swapna had established the link with chief minister’s ofce (CMO) through suspended bureaucrat M Sivasankar, with whom she enjoyed a close association.

Sivasankar had gone out of the way to appoint Swapna in the Kerala government’s Space Park and he used to advise her on many issues, the he told the court.

Though details of Sivasankar’s ties with Swapna have been doing the rounds for sometime, this is the rst time that NIA has come on record about it.

However, the NIA’s counsel reportedly stated that Sivasankar did not interfere in the release of the diplomatic baggage (from where the gold was seized at the Thiruvananthapuram airport) despite repeated pleas from Swpna.

The NIA had slapped the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against the accused in this case.

But the special court had asked the NIA’s counsel on how the case attracted the provisions of the UAPA.

In its reply, the agency stated that the money from the gold smuggling could have been used or financing terrorism in India and hence the stringent provisions of the UAPA.

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