New Delhi: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who has come under fire for the alleged involvement of his office in the gold smuggling case, on Monday stressed that the state government will not protect anyone, adding that ‘all big sharks behind smuggling will come out’. Also Read - Kerala Gold Smuggling Case: Congress-led UDF Mulls no Confidence Motion Against Left Govt
Speaking at a press conference, where he announced Kerala’s COVID-19 numbers from today, the Chief Minister said, “Proper investigation is being carried out now. NIA is an efficient agency and state government has extended all support. We will not protect anyone who is involved. Let them (NIA) continue their probe”. Also Read - Kerala Gold Smuggling Case: NIA Formally Arrests Key Accused Swapna Suresh, Sandeep Nair
Notably, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was handed the case by the Union Home Ministry last week. On Saturday, it detained two key accused, Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, from Bengaluru. They were formally arrested a day later.
Speaking on the removal of his Principal Secretary M Sivasankar, Vijayan said that the former was removed after his links with Swapna Suresh came to the fore, adding that the government has started a probe on how she was posted in the state IT department.
Sivasankar, notably, was involved in the hiring of Swapna Suresh, who was sacked after her name cropped up in the case.
“Let NIA investigate. Let all big sharks behind gold smuggling come out. NIA has said money was used to fund terror, it is very serious. All those who are involved should be brought to book. If a probe comes to CMO let it come, let them investigate and find out the truth”, he concluded.
The opposition has been alleging that Vijayan’s office was involved in the case. Earlier today, there were reports that the opposition Congress-led UDF was mulling no-confidence motion against the government.
In a related development earlier today, an NIA court in Kochi sent Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair to eight-day NIA custody.