Kerala gold smuggling: ‘Speaker, Ministers involved with accused’

Thiruvananthapuram: Hours after polling began in five southern districts of Kerala for the local bodies, state BJP chief K. Surendran on Tuesday said Speaker of the state assembly and few ministers were involved with the ‘smugglers’ now arrested in the gold smuggling case.

Surendran said that if in the past he had mentioned about the role of the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office and Vijayan himself of being the biggest beneficiary in the smuggling case, then role of Speaker P.Sreeramakrishnan and a few Ministers cannot be denied.

“The numerous foreign trips of the Speaker is shrouded in mystery and he has close links with those now arrested. The high post of his has been compromised. The same is the case with a few State Ministers,” Surendran told the media in Kochi on Tuesday.

The case surfaced on July 5 with the arrest here of P.R. Sarith — former UAE Consulate staff, and then came the arrest of another former embassy staffer Swapna Suresh, who afterwards  worked in the IT Department’s Space Park and also closely associated with Vijayan’s top aide.

Incidentally soon after the case surfaced a video of Sreeramakrishnan while taking part in an inauguration of a new business venture and after finishing the inauguration, he is  seen tapping the shoulder of Swapna and this had raised eyebrows. Sreeramakrishnan then had said it was a mistake on his part to have attended that function.

For Vijayan, things went from bad to worse when the Enforcement Directorate arrested his secretary and senior IAS official M.Sivasankar, who since October 29 has been in judicial custody.

Swapna Suresh has gone on record to state that Sivasankar was her mentor and managed to get her the IT space park job, when “she has not even passed Class 10 exam and that too at a mind boggling salary”.

According to those in the know of things, Swapna Suresh and Sarith have now given statements implicating a few big ‘sharks’ from various fields who have had some role in the case, which the various national agencies are probing.


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