Gold smuggling: Crime Branch to probe Swapna Suresh's voice clip

Swapna's voice clip | ED seeks probe, Crime Branch may step in
Swapna Suresh
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Thiruvananthapuram: The Crime Branch of the Kerala Police will conduct a probe into the voice clip, said to be that of Swapna Suresh, which came out in the public domain recently.

Swapna Suresh is one of the key accused in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling scam which is being investigated by multiple central agencies.

The police decided to probe the matter as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has written a letter to the chief of Kerala Prisons Department seeking a detailed probe into the voice clip which has triggered a controversy in the state.

A special investigation team will be formed, State Police chief Loknath Behera informed on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, the Jail Department had handed over the ED's letter to the police. DGP (Prisons) Rishiraj Singh handed over the letter to Behera seeking an inquiry to give reply to the ED.

The ED plans to apprise the court that the release of the voice clip at this stage proved that a conspiracy is taking place to sabotage the gold smuggling case. It will also convey to the court how the voice clip of a person who is currently in judicial custody came out in the public domain.

The ED considered the possibility of sabotage seriously after it received certain inputs from these central agencies.

It is now planning a joint move in association with other central agencies.

In the voice clip Swapna, an accused in the gold smuggling case, is heard blaming the investigating agencies for their bid to force her to incriminate the CM.

The ED action comes in the wake of the preliminary assessment that the voice heard in the clip is that of Swapna.

The Jail DGP had on Thursday given a letter to the police chief seeking an inquiry into the letter.

The police's stand was that there was no need for a probe into the complaint submitted by the jail department. Or else Swapna Suresh should file a complaint stating that a fake message is circulating in her name.

The jail department does not have the powers to investigate the case. Even if a clash occurs inside the jail premises, the power to investigate is vested with the police. This is the reason why the Jail DGP sent the letter to the police.

Where was the clip recorded

In the voice clip Swapna says that the matter that she was referring to was told to her by her advocate. Swapna was brought to Attakulangara jail in Thiruvananthapuram on November 14 and since then she has not been allowed to either meet her advocate or call him. She might have met the advocate during the custody of other agencies or while being in Viyyur jail in Thrissur district. This is one of the reasons why the jail department is claiming that the voice clip was not recorded in Attakulangara jail or circulated from there.

Swapna had made the startling disclosure that Sivasankar was aware of gold smuggling when ED questioned her at the Attakulangara jail on November 10.

It is not clear which agency had asked such questions to her or exerted pressure on her, prior to November 10.

As reported earlier several agencies, including the NIA and Customs, have taken up multiple aspects of the gold smuggling case in which Swapna is a co-accused. They had questioned her in Bengaluru from where she was arrested as well as in other parts of Kerala during the initial rounds of interrogation and appearance in court.

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