During interrogation, accused Rameez told the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that Swapna converted to Islam in Qatar and was married again
Thiruvananthapuram: The sensational gold smuggling case in Kerala, involving former consulate employees, has heated up politics in the state.
Many speculated that the key accused Swapna Suresh is actually a Muslim who has changed her name to a Hindu only to conceal her real identity.
Earlier, many social media users had claimed that she was 'Mumtaz Ismail'. Reportedly, another accused Rameez, who Swapna and Sandeep Nair told the NIA that he is the mastermind behind the gold smuggling, revealed that Swapna is actually a Muslim.
During interrogation, accused Rameez told the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that Swapna converted to Islam in Qatar and was married again, according to reports.
Swapna, a former UAE consulate employee, is accused of using diplomatic channels to smuggle in 30 kg gold worth Rs 15 crore. The opposition has alleged that Swapna has links to Vijayan's office.
On July 5, 30 kg of gold, worth Rs 14.82 crore, was seized by customs at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport. It was being smuggled from UAE through a diplomatic baggage.
Later, Swapna worked in the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited (KSITIL) with IAS officer and state IT secretary M Sivasankar, who was also chief minister’s principal secretary.
For his alleged links with Swapna, Sivasankar was removed from his posts, and later suspended too.
On July 10, the NIA registered a case under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, against Swapna and three others to probe if the case is linked to terror funding. The FIR has no mention of "Mumtaz Ismail". Instead, the key accused was referred to as "Swapna Suresh".
“As the case pertains to smuggling of large quantity of gold into India from offshore locations threatening the economic stability and national security of the country, it amounts to a terrorist act as stated in section 15 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. Further, as the case has national and international linkages and as the initial enquiries have revealed that the proceeds of smuggled gold could be used for financing of terrorism in India, NIA has taken up the investigation of the case,” the NIA had said on July 10.
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Last Updated Jul 24, 2020, 1:12 PM IST