THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The gold smuggling case has more than one angle warranting a thorough investigation, says Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in his letter; Union Minister V Muraleedharan terms the CM’s stance in the case mysterious
A Day after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan shunted out his secretary M Sivasankar and tried to wash his hands of the high-profile gold smuggling case alleged to have connections to his office, the CPM strongman is feeling the heat. While both the UDF and the BJP targeted the CM, demanding his resignation, Pinarayi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking an effective and coordinated investigation into the smuggling case. The case has “more than one angle warranting a thorough investigation”, he said in the letter. Noting that the case has serious implications as it undermines the economy of the nation, Pinarayi assured all necessary assistance and support from the state to the agencies involved in the investigation.
Meanwhile, three days after the case came to light, the Customs couldn’t make any headway in nabbing the key accused, Swapna Suresh. She continues to elude the enforcement agencies and is believed to be in Thiruvananthapuram. She has filed an anticipatory bail plea in the Kerala High Court. On Wednesday, the Customs and Central Excise officials took into custody Soumya, wife of Sandeep Nair, a close associate of Swapna. She was taken into custody from the couple’s residence at Nedumangadu in the state capital and taken to Kochi for questioning, while Sandeep has absconded.
At the same time, there are indications that, following pressure from the Ministry of External Affairs, the Customs probe into the role of Consulate officials would be slowed down. In a day full of political developments, Opp o s i t i o n L e a d e r Ramesh Chennithala demanded the CMO be included under the purview of investigation. KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran shot off a letter to the PM demanding a case under COFEPOSA and investigation by Central agencies like NIA and RAW. Union Minister V Muraleedharan termed the CM’s stance in the case ‘mysterious’. He said the Union Government will carry out a foolproof investigation into the case, sparing neither the accused nor those who offered protection.
Swapna still on the run
Customs intensifies search for key suspect Swapna Suresh
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala demands investigation by CBI and wants CMO to be included under its purview
Customs takes into custody the wife of Sandeep Kumar --- a friend of Swapna --- whose shop in Nedumangad was inaugurated by speaker P Sreeramakrishnan
A petition has been filed before Kerala High Court seeking a probe by central agencies — CBI or NIA — into the gold smuggling. The petitioner has made CM Pinarayi Vijayan and former IT Secretary M Sivasankar as respondents in the case