Fri, 14 Aug 2020

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], July 7 (ANI): Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullapally Ramachandran on Tuesday demanded a CBI investigation in the gold smuggling case, saying that role of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should also be probed.

"The case should be referred to CBI. Also, a case should be registered under COFEPOSA and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's role should also be probed," Ramachandran told ANI.

"This is a major incident. It's for the first time CMO is involved in the gold smuggling case. One woman has been found guilty of the offence. It is clear evidence that she has been involved in the smuggling activity. She is a person appointed by the CM's department in IT. I do not understand the reason why she was appointed," he said.

"Against this woman, a case is registered by the crime department of Kerala and they are enquiring this matter. What is the reason why such a person is appointed in such a post? This has to be probed first. This incident has international ramifications. We have very good and cordial relations with the UAE for a long time," the KPCC president said.

On Sunday, 30 kg gold concealed in diplomatic baggage was seized at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport here by the Customs Department.

Customs sources said Swapna Suresh is on the run while Sarith Kumar, who had earlier worked as a PRO in UAE Consulate-General's office, has been arrested.

Suresh was employed in Space Park and Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited (KSITL), which comes under the IT department, a portfolio held by Vijayan. She was ousted after being named as an accused in the gold smuggling case.

M Sivasankar, who was Chief Minister's Principal Secretary and served as IT secretary, has been removed from both the posts. (ANI)

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