The Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate on Friday formally arrested Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair,the two key accused in the sensational Kerala gold smuggling case. The Customs moved a plea in the Special NIA Court here seeking its permission to arrest Suresh and Nair when they were produced before it as their NIA custody period ended today.
Considering the petition, the Court granted the Customs permission to formally arrest them. Earlier, the court sent three accused in the case- Suresh, Sarith and Nair- to judicial remand till August 21.
About Rs 1 Crore and 982 grams of gold were also seized from Suresh. The remand report that was submitted at the NIA special court stated that Rs 36.5 lakhs in Indian currency were seized from Federal Bank safe deposit locker and Rs 64 Lakhs in Indian currency and 982.5 grams of Gold ornaments seized from SBI safe deposit locker.
According to NIA report during the custody Swapna disclosed that she kept the proceeds of the crime at bank lockers and invested as deposits in various banks. She has also claimed that the gold was given to her during her wedding.
Advocate Geo Paul, the counsel for Swapna Suresh said that her bail application will be considered on July 29.
The remand report by NIA says Swapna and Sandeep disclosed about their association and the mode of communication between themselves, co-accused other suspects. According to the Report Ramees KT is one of the kingpins in the case. "Sandeep has stated about the suspected unlawful activities of Ramees KT which will affect the security of nation, the same is being investigated, "report stated.
Sarith was earlier interrogated by the Customs. The Court also adjourned the bail plea of Suresh till July 29.
In her plea, she has alleged that she was implicated in the crime on a wild imagination without any basis and the case was the offshoot of the political rivalry between the state and central governments, triggered by the colourful and fictitious stories aired by the media.
In a report submitted in the court last Tuesday, the investigation agency also said it is suspected that the accused had used the proceeds of smuggling for financing terrorism through various means.
Suresh and Nair were arrested by the NIA from Bengaluru on July 11. Central agencies, including NIA and Customs, are conducting separate probe into the seizure of gold worth nearly Rs 15 crore from a "diplomatic baggage" at the Thiruvananthapuram International airport on July 5.
Elsewhere, the Congress-led United Democratic Front on Friday decided to observe a one-day fast by its legislators on August 1.
Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala told the media here that a "Speakup Kerala" campaign will be organised on August 1 to "protest against the corrupt" Left government.
(With inputs from PTI)