Kerala gold smuggling case: Accused Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair arrested by NIA at Bengaluru
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Jul 11, 2020, 09:35 pm
Two names in the gold smuggling case of Kerala, Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, have been arrested in Bengaluru by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). It is being reported they will be produced before the NIA special court in Kochi tomorrow.
The Kerala gold smuggling case has rocked the nation for over a week now and the two have been on the run since then. The case, which was handed over to the NIA last Friday, has been mired in controversy ever since the gold smuggling racket was uncovered at the Thiruvananthapuram airport last weekend.
It is to be noted that an audio clipping allegedly of Swapna Suresh had been played two days back on the television news channel Twenty Four, where she claimed her innocence in the case and agreed to appear for investigation. Swapna's name grabbed headlines after her connections with the UAE consulate and former Kerala IT Secretary M Sivasankar came to limelight. Controversy started doing the rounds after another accused, Sarith, was arrested.
The National Investigation Agency took over the case on Friday after which a First Information Report (FIR) was filed under a number of provisions pertaining to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The FIR had named four persons as accused who were Swapna Suresh, Sandeep Nair, PS Sarith and Fazil Fareed. It was being speculated that all these people had connections to the Islamic State and were "raising funds for terrorist activities".
A request for an anticipatory bail was made by Swapna Suresh on Friday, which was opposed by the Centre in the Kerala High Court. Since the NIA had stepped forward in handling the investigation, the counsel for the Central government opined that the anticipatory bail plea cannot be taken into account. He added, the plea can be heard only by a special court.