WhatsApp Image 2023-02-26 at 9.49.20 AM (1)
WhatsApp Image 2023-02-26 at 9.49.20 AM

ED wants Gold smuggling case in KTK

Kochi: In a major move, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) will approach the Supreme Court seeking to move the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling and money laundering case of 2020 to a court outside Kerala.

In the Transfer Petition, the ED would pray the Apex Court to move the case to a special court in Bengaluru in Karnataka fearing high
level intervention by Kerala government officials.

A high-level meeting of the agency was held in New Delhi and legal opinions were sought before going to the Apex Court.

The Kochi Zone Assistant Director of the ED is making the prayer at a time when the ED was planning to begin further investigation into the case after the accused Swapna Suresh gave a secret statement before a magistrate court a few days ago.

She revealed some parts of the statement before the media. Following this, the ED collected evidence from Swapna Suresh on June 22, 23 and it is getting ready to begin further investigation into the case which hit a road block in 2021 after the Kerala Crime Branch registered a case against the ED accusing it of forcing Swapna Suresh and others to give statements against the Chief Minister and others.

It also feared that the witnesses could be influenced and case would be sabotaged as one of the accused in the case is a top bureaucrat M Sivasankaran. The Kerala High Court had allowed the lower court to go ahead with the crime branch case.

This was challenged by the ED in the Supreme Court.

The gold smuggling case happened on July 5, 2020, when 30 kg of gold worth over Rs 14 crore was seized in Thiruvananthapuram airport when it was being brought through a diplomatic channel.

Other accused in the case are P S Sarith, Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair.

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