Shocking details are emerging before the agencies on the interrogation of the accused people in the gold smuggling by misusing diplomatic baggage through Kerala’s United Arab Emirates (UAE) Consulate. The accused and former Consulate staffers Swapna and Sarith, and cargo agent Sandeep Nair confessed that within a year they have engaged 23 times in gold smuggling activities involving 152kg of gold bars from Dubai to Kerala. This is including the last smuggling of 30kg gold bars in which they were caught. The previous 22 times, starting from the first operation on July 9, 2019, they smuggled total gold bars weighing 122kg for different wholesale jewelry agents and shops. The last consignment of 30kg was the biggest out of greed and overconfidence, said investigators.
Swapna was the Executive Secretary of the Consulate General and Sarith was the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Consulate. All the 23 consignments were taken out from the customs cargo section by Sarith personally with the help of the other accused and cargo agent Sandeep Nair. Normally UAE diplomatic baggage was claimed to have food items for the diplomats from their home country and the gold bars were placed among the other items. In earlier consignments, around 5kg to 10kg gold bars were camouflaged along with food items. Out of greed this time the accused put 30kg gold bars in diplomatic baggage that weighed 75kg.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s Secretary M Sivasankar IAS was suspended for his close ties with Swapna, who was later posted in a Kerala Government project.
Swapna got Rs.15 lakhs and Sarith got Rs.10 lakhs from each consignment. These consignments were packed in Dubai by the other accused Kerala based businessman Faisal Fareed. He is now arrested by Dubai Police after India cancelled his passport and would soon be deported to India and handed over to National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Customs who are presently probing the case.
Meanwhile, UAE Attaché Rashed Khamis Ali Musaiqri Alshemeli fled to his home country on July 7. His security person from Kerala Police tried to commit suicide. The security person is now out of danger and NIA and Customs are expected to question him soon. This is not the first time UAE diplomats are engaged in gold smuggling. In March 2013, the diplomat in Delhi Embassy was also caught with a gold trader Kamal Jain for smuggling 37kg of gold bars from Delhi Airport.
The recent developments have pushed the Left party ruling Kerala Government on the verge of collapse, with wide-ranging protests across a State that will be going for elections in May 2021. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s Secretary M Sivasankar IAS was suspended for his close ties with Swapna, who was later posted in a Kerala Government project. Sivasankar was a regular visitor at her home and posted just 10th standard passed Swapna as Operation Manager in an IT project. Sivasankar was Secretary IT too and Swapna was posted at a huge salary of Rs.1.70 lakh per month. Sivasankar’s dubious promotion to IAS cadre is detailed in this video recording of T G Mohandas titled Gold Smuggling in God’s own country.
 In conversation with T G Mohandas President VHS Kerala on Gold smuggling in God’s own country – Jul 17, 2020, PGurus.com
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