The Customs report submitted to the Kerala high court in the gold smuggling case says Swapna Suresh is a pivotal member of a gang engaged in smuggling gold, and that she has conspired and actively participated to facilitate the act of smuggling.
The report was submitted in court while considering Suresh's bail plea. The case will next be heard on Tuesday.
The seizure of 30 kg gold from a diplomatic consignment at the Trivandrum International Airport on Sunday has snowballed into a major political controversy in Kerala as the prime suspect, Suresh, a high-profile woman who wears many hats, happens to be close to the ruling Left Democratic Front government in the state.
In an audio message on Thursday, Suresh, who is on the run, said she had no role to play in the matter.
The Customs report states, "From the evidence gathered so far, it appears Swapna Suresh is a pivotal member of a gang engaged in smuggling of large quantities of gold to India by defrauding govt agencies and customs department using the cover of diplomatic protection. And further she has conspired and actively participated to facilitate this act of smuggling."
The report says that by 3.15 pm on July 5, Suresh had switched off her mobile phone and has been absconding since. Customs officers tried their best to serve her notice in all her know addresses.
The report says it is necessary to interrogate her in custody to unearth the correct facts.
"Additionally, involvement of higher government officials cannot be ruled out at this stage, which can only be unearthed if the investigation agency is permitted to interrogate Swapna," it added.
The NIA informed the court that Suresh has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
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Making the submission while opposing her anticipatory bail application, the counsel for the Centre and the NIA said she had criminal antecedents and was 'involved' in arranging diplomatic papers for the smuggling of the gold seized.
Custodial interrogation of the woman was required to ascertain her role, the counsel for the NIA said.