Swapna Suresh's call records reveal links to higher-ups

Swapna Suresh's call records reveal links to higher-ups
Swapna Suresh

Thiruvananthapuram: A multi-pronged probe by different agencies into the sensational gold smuggling case which has likely political ramifications is well on. Central agencies have found that Swapna Suresh, the alleged key conspirator who is now on the run has links to several high-ups. A scrutiny of her phone calls revealed this.

Swapna, a former employee of the Consulate based in the Kerala capital, frequently contacted the staff there and even state government officers, as per reports. More than 10 calls were reportedly made to some officials on certain days.

Several calls were even made to the leaders of the ruling front, LDF. All this would be thoroughly investigated by the Central agencies and the Customs.

Swapna is under scrutiny over her role in forging Consulate documents to illicitly enjoy diplomatic immunity for gold smuggled from the Gulf. 

The Customs got to know about Swapna’s role in sneaking in gold through diplomatic baggage when they questioned P S Sarith, the former PRO at the Consulate. 

Swapna forged documents of the UAE Consulate to obtain diplomatic immunity to run her gold smuggling operations, the Customs had stated.  

During interrogation Sarith had said Swapna was his friend.  

Though Swapna's ties with certain Consulate officials have come to light, the Customs officers have limitations in carrying out a probe against them over diplomatic conventions. The officers are extremely cautious as any issue could hamper the ties between the two countries.

Agencies, including the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), have meanwhile initiated probe abroad. The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) have also joined the probe given the obvious overseas links of the racket and to see if national security has been compromised. 

Swapna Suresh's call records reveal links to higher-ups

The Customs officials have received information that she was trying to secure an anticipatory bail.

The Customs had recently seized around 30kg gold worth Rs 13.5 crore from a diplomatic baggage addressed to the UAE Consulate. The probe revealed the role of Swapna and Sarith.

Swapna had later got a job with the state IT department. As reported earlier, M Sivasankar, the bureaucrat who got the boot over his links to Swapna, was behind her appointment as operations manager at the Space Park which is under the Kerala State IT Infrastructure Ltd (KSITI), an undertaking of the IT Department of the state government. 

The Customs authorities have said that they would collect details from the IT department officials if needed. It was after the Customs found out Swapna's role as the likely lynchpin of the gold smuggling racket, the IT Department had sacked her. 

The probe would also look into why Sarith and Swapna were ousted from the Consulate. Also, their overseas travels would also be looked into. Curiously, Sarith managed to get the contract for receiving the diplomatic baggage of the Consulate even after he was dismissed. The Central agencies are looking into this as well.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) will probe if Sarith, who is under custody, and Swapna have any links to the accused of the 25-kg gold smuggling case reported last year.

A Customs superintendent was among those arrested in the 25-kg gold case. The CBI is probing this case.

Discrepancies in educational records

Swapna Suresh's call records reveal links to higher-ups
Sarith and Swapna

As consultant with the Space Park project of the state government, Swapna wa drawing a salary of over Rs 1 lakh. When she worked with the Air India SATS earlier, her salary was around Rs 25,000.

Swapna only has a graduation degree. But discrepancies were found in her educational qualifications as stated for recruitment purposes.

The biodata she had given on job portals in 2016 does not mention the institution from where she completed her graduation. Nor is it clear from where she did other diploma courses.

She had submitted records of having completed B Com from the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University in Maharashtra in 2011 for recruitment by the Kerala State IT Infrastructure Ltd.

Elsewhere Swapna had claimed she completed B Com from Dr B R Ambedkar NIT in Jalandhar; however, this institution does not offer B Com courses.

From her records it is evident that she had worked with Etihad Airways, South African Airways, and Kuwait Airways even before she completed her graduation. She had worked with seven companies, including HR firms, between 2005 and 2016.

Sarith undergoes COVID-19 tests

Sarith, who has been remanded in the gold-smuggling case, underwent COVID-19 tests and was put under observation in the cell. The Customs would take him in custody after the test results are available.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.