Swapna Suresh arrested by Crime Branch in fake sexual harassment case

Thiruvananthapuram: Prime accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh, was arrested by the Crime Branch over a fabricated sexual harassment case.

Swapna presently jailed in the gold smuggling case was produced in the court online by the Crime Branch police probing the case filed by Air India official L S Sibu.

The chief judicial magistrate court ordered her to the Crime Branch's custody till May 22 in the fabricated sexual harassment case.

It all started when Sibu, a union leader of Air India - working as Officer-Apron in the Ground Services Department, Trivandrum in 2014, - brought to the attention of the CBI, the Central Vigilance Commission and the Prime Minister about financial irregularities at Trivandrum Airport.

Sibu's life took a turn for the worse, when he was transferred to Hyderabad effective April 2015.

Incidentally it was after a few years of a legal battle the Kerala High Court directed Air India to reinstate him in July 2018, after which he was posted at Hyderabad.

The Kerala High Court in a separate order had directed the Crime Branch Police to conduct a detailed probe into the fabricated sexual harassment case against Sibu.

The Crime Branch probe revealed that apart from the complaint of 17 female employees at Air India SATS, here, there were two other forged complaints against him, which was send to the top officials of Air India. It was based on these complaints that Sibu was transferred to Hyderabad.

Swapna Suresh was employed at Air India SATS and she left the job in 2015, after the police began their first probe based on a complaint from Sibu.

Incidentally it was only after the now controversial gold smuggling case took a turn and the NIA arrested the prime accused Swapna Suresh, did Sibu get a relief.

The Crime Branch investigation unearthed evidence against Swapna Suresh of being a key accused in the fabricated sexual harassment case and in the coming days the Crime Branch will reveal who all were behind her.

Despite numerous pleas by Sibu, his wife and daughter, Air India officials continued to maintain stoic silence and Sibu was suspended in August last year, on the grounds that he spoke to the media, soon after the gold smuggling case took centre stage.

Later he was reinstated end December last year and is at present on leave.

Gold, weighing over 30 kg and said to be worth about Rs 15 crore, was seized by the Customs from a "diplomatic baggage" that had landed by air cargo at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport from the Gulf on July 5 last year.

Central agencies including the customs, customs, ED and NIA are probing the case.

(with inputs from IANS)

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