The Kerala government on Monday terminated the service of information technology consultant Swapna Suresh after the Customs department unearthed her alleged links to a gold smuggling racket following the seizure of 30 kg gold from a diplomatic consignment on Sunday.
Who is Swapna Suresh?
Swapna Suresh, a former employee of the UAE consulate, is the main accused in the gold smuggling case and is now absconding.
It is reportedly said that the customs department has said that Swapna forged documents of the UAE consulate to obtain diplomatic immunity to run her gold smuggling operations.
The customs department has revealed that Swapna Suresh is the master brain behind the attempt to smuggle around 30 kg gold from a diplomatic consignment bound to the UAE Consulate General, Thiruvananthapuram.
Swapna is said to have connived with former Consulate PRO Sarith. The duo is said to have used diplomatic channel to smuggle large quantities of gold into the state. As per protocol, diplomatic baggage are generally not subject to detailed scrutiny.
“She was into a six-month contract and had ended already. However, she was continuing due to the COVID-19 and lockdown,” said the IT department. Earlier, Swapna Suresh had worked as executive secretary at the Consulate of United Arab Emirates at Thiruvananthapuram.
BJP state president K Surendran alleged that the gold smuggling racket has links with the office of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who holds the portfolio.
“The first call, as the smugglers were taken into custody by the customs, was from the chief minister’s office. Swapna Suresh has close contacts with S Shivsankar, the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, who is also the IT Secretary,” he said.
The BJP leader also asked how a person like Swapna who was kicked out of the UAE Consulate could join the chief minister’s office in a key post. “The state special branch had informed CM about her background as she was questioned by the crime branch for forging documents in a case against an Air India official. However, he rejected all these,” he said.
Vijayan said he was unaware of the factors behind the appointment of the woman and would look into the matter.
The Embassy of the UAE in India said in the statement that it utterly condemns the attempted misuse of diplomatic channels by an individual engaged in smuggling activity.
The Embassy expressed its faith in the Indian judicial system and hoped that the name of the UAE mission would be cleared in the case