Chargesheet has been filed by NIA against 30 accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case2 min read


Thiruvananthapuram: On Tuesday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed the first charge sheet against the selected accused in the Special Court of Kochi. The fourth accused in the case named Sandip Nair, who was arrested along with prime accused Swapna Suresh in July from their hideout in Bangalore, has been made an approver in the case.

The NIA filed the first charge sheet since some of the accused were planning to move the court for bail citing their 6-month long judicial custody. Twenty people are named in the charge-sheet and that they were booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act Sections 16, 17, 18,

and 20, said NIA in a very statement.

M. Sivasankar, a senior IAS officer, who was the former Secretary of Kerala Chief Minister, was not figured in the initial charge sheet. M. Sivasankar was arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with money laundering. Among the 35 arrested by the Central agencies, 20 figured in the first charge sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency. A senior official familiar with the probe said a supplementary charge-sheet will be filed later as the investigation progressed. 

The Investigating officer named, Radhakrishna Pillai, has filed the charge sheet before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court. Previously, while hearing the bail plea of some of the accused, the court has asked repeatedly the Investigative agency to submit the terror angle evidence in the case. The National Investigation Agency has slapped the UAPA for the first time, which is usually invoked in terror incidents and smuggling cases.

The National Investigation Agency NIA said, “The Investigation by us till now has revealed that the accused had knowingly conspired since June 2019, raised funds and smuggled from the UAE, between November 19 and June 20 around 167 kgs of gold, through the import cargo addressed to diplomats at the consular general office of UAE in Thiruvananthapuram”. The main accused, Swapna Suresh has planned to smuggle more gold from countries like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia, it added eight accused from absconding.