ED to scrutinise Swapna's old secret statement to Customs

Kochi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will obtain a copy of the confidential statement given to the Customs by Swapna Suresh, a key accused in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case.

The ED had earlier received a copy of the statement that Swapna had given in another case registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The agency would now be able to compare copies of both the statements furnished under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

(Section 164 gives power to the Metropolitan Magistrate or judicial magistrate to record confessions and statements during the course of the investigation.)

The ED has decided to conduct further probe in the case only if the secret statement given to the Customs has any information or disclosure which were not mentioned in the earlier statements given to it.

If the serious disclosures made by Swapna have to withstand legal scrutiny, the probe agencies should be able to find evidence for them. The Customs could not find evidence for her initial claims as soon as she was arrested in 2020 after the Customs busted a smuggling bid through the Trivandrum International Airport.

Blame on NIA, Sivasankar 

Swapna had earlier slammed the actions of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which had arrested her in the smuggling case. She cast aspersions on the NIA for making co-accused Sandeep Nair an approver.

She blamed former Principal Secretary to Chief Minister M Sivasankar for her arrest by the NIA from her Bengaluru hideout.

"Sivasankar asked me to flee the state along with Sandeep Nair after the smuggling came to light. He handed over the details of the hotel where we were staying in Bengaluru to the NIA," Swapna said in her latest media interactions.

"Sivasankar, who was also present when I was questioned at the NIA's office in Kochi, behaved like a probe officer," Swapna added.

Statements of Saritha Nair's son recorded

The team, which is probing the alleged conspiracy behind Swapna's recent disclosures, has recorded the statements of the son and driver of Saritha Nair, an accused in the Solar Scam.

The probe team had earlier gone to Saritha Nair’s home and recorded her statements.

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