Kochi: Gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh was reportedly assisted by a senior civil police officer of Thripunithura Vanitha cell who is also a left fellow traveller, in recording the controversial voice clip.
A state leader of Kerala Police Officers Association was also involved in the recording and subsequent publication of the voice clip, it is learnt.
The central agencies had carried out a detailed investigation into the matter following Swapna’s disclosure during questioning by Customs that a woman police officer had called up a number and given the phone to her. The conversation that she had over the phone later came out in the public domain.
While being in Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) custody Swapan was assigned five policewomen for guard duty. All are said to be left sympathizers. It was only once when Swapna was admitted to a hospital that two other women police personnel were deployed for duty.
The central agencies suspect that the continuous deployment of pro left police personnel for guard duty is part of a conspiracy.
The voice clip in which Swapna is heard saying that the central agencies had pressurized her saying that if she gave a statement against chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan she would be made an approver in the money laundering case linked with gold smuggling. The voice clip had triggered a major controversy in the state with the ruling LDF accusing the central agencies of applying pressure on the accused to target the chief minister.
Meanwhile, the crime branch and Enforcement Directorate (D) questioned the gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh at the Attakulangara jail. The crime branch team which is probing the publication voice clip, arrived at the jail at 11 am and left by noon. With the Swapna disclosing to Customs that a woman police personnel who was on guard duty was behind the recording of the controversial clip, the crime branch is in a tight spot on how to take the probe forward.
Earlier, Ernakulam Sessions court granted permission to ED for questioning Swapna and Sartih in jail on Monday. The ED officials who came to the jail after the crime branch team completed its task, questioned the accused for over two hours. The grilling of the accused will continue on Tuesday.
The ED is seeking details related to the disclosures made by Swapna before customs regarding financial transactions of higher-ups and the involvement in dollar smuggling. The ED is also ascertaining more details about the voice clip.
Jail officials kept away during questioning
Kochi: The court accepted ED’s plea to keep jail officials away during the questioning of Swapana and Sarith in connection with the money laundering case. This is perhaps the first time that ED has made such a plea before the court. This also indicated ED’s lack of trust in jail officials.
However, there is no bar in jail officials viewing the questioning from a distance. The court has permitted the investigating agency to carry out the questioning of the accused for three days between 10 am to 4 pm.