THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Close on the heels of National Investigation Agency (NIA) taking Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, the suspects in the gold smuggling case, into custody in Bengaluru, the question arising from various quarters is how they managed to reach and hide in the metropolis amid lockdown restrictions. As per reports, Swapna and Sandeep were helped by some state government officers to cross the border. The report said that they were in Kochi for four days after leaving her apartment at Ambalamukku in Thiruvananthapuram.
Earlier, Customs had seized the CCTV footage from the flat that showed she had left the apartment on Sunday. Since then she was in Kochi along with Sandeep to meet lawyers to obtain anticipatory bail, sources said. People in the know revealed that Swapna and Sandeep travelled separately and reached Bengaluru with the support of a few insiders who have been guiding them to give Customs the slip. Swapna was also accompanied by her husband and daughter and they proceeded to Bengaluru via Theni, sources said.
Apparently she even changed her appearance to hoodwink police officials at the state border. Sources said that someone had made arrangements to take them to Bengaluru via road. During the lockdown period, to go to Bengaluru one had to register on the Seva Sindhu portal of the Karnataka government. However, after the announcement of Unlock2.0, there is no need to any travel pass and portal registration.
“Since the Centre announced Unlock 2.0 , there is no need to register in any portal. Anyone can move freely to any state unless they are coming from containment zones. They may have reached Bengaluru via Tamil Nadu. So they crossed the border and minor formalities could be done by drivers who were not familiar to the general public,” the officer said.