Kerala gold smuggling case: Swapna Suresh arrested in Bengaluru

Swapna is among the four accused booked by the NIA

Swapna Suresh Swapna Suresh

The National Investigation Agency on Saturday arrested Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, the key accused in the sensational Kerala gold smuggling case, from Bengaluru. According to reports, both of them will be brought to Kochi on Sunday and produced before a special court.

Swapna and Sandeep are among the four accused booked by the NIA in the smuggling of 30 kg of gold through diplomatic baggage which arrived at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport.

The duo had been on the run ever since their name cropped up after the seizure of the gold.

Sarith Kumar of Thiruvananthapuram and Fazil Fareed of Ernakulam are the other two accused. All of them have been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The NIA had earlier told Kerala High Court that Swapna, a former woman employee of the UAE consulate, had criminal antecedents and was 'involved' in arranging diplomatic papers for the smuggling of the gold.

The gold smuggling case has taken a political turn with opposition Congress and BJP targeting Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan after Swapna was found working in the state I-T department, a portfolio headed by him, and sacked.

The NIA probe was ordered a day after Vijayan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his "intervention for an effective investigation" into the seizure of gold worth about Rs 15 crore. 

Meanwhile, Vijayan on Saturday said an inquiry will be held into the complaint on the alleged fake degree certificate submitted by Swapna for securing appointment in a government project under the state IT department.