New Delhi: In the latest development in the Kerala gold smuggling case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the case, on Sunday formally arrested two key accused-Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair-and will produce them before an NIA court in Kochi, Kerala. Also Read - Kerala Gold Smuggling Case: Two Key Accused Arrested by NIA in Bengaluru
Earlier, the two were detained by the agency in Bengaluru last night. The Union Home Ministry had, on Thursday, handed the case to the NIA. As a result, a day later, the Kerala High Court deferred to Tuesday hearing of the anticipatory bail plea filed by Swapna, who had gone underground when the case came to light and was finally arrested last night.
Swapna, a former employee of the UAE Consulate-General in Thiruvananthapuram, is among the four accused booked by the agency in the smuggling of 30 kg gold through a diplomatic baggage which arrived at the Thiruvanathapuram International airport Sunday last. The gold was valued at around Rs 15 crore.
Besides Swapna and Sandeep, Sarith and Fazil Fareed have been identified as two other accused in the smuggling case. Swapna, who was subsequently sacked from the state IT Department, and Sarith, are both former employees of the UAE Consulate-General in Kerala’s capital city.
Meanwhile, opposition parties in Kerala have hit out at the ruling CPI(M), questioning how she was able to reach Bengaluru despite a triple lockdown in Thiruvanathapuram.