THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Crime Branch has arraigned Swapna Suresh, who is now in NIA custody for gold smuggling, as the second accused in the sensational forgery case. Crime Branch DySP B Anil Kumar filed a report in this regard at Thiruvananthapuram Judicial First Class Magistrate Court on Saturday. The report said Swapna was arraigned as the second accused on the basis of evidence that proved that she had forged documents and produced fake witness before the Internal Complaint Cell of Air India to implicate one of its staff in sexual harassment case. She has been charged for forgery, impersonation and cheating.
The Crime Branch team is investigating the complaint filed by L S Sibu, a whistleblower in Air India, who had alleged that he was being framed for exposing corruption in Air India. The sexual harassment complaint was signed by 17 female staff of Air India-SATS. However, the Crime Branch found that the complaint was fake and 16 of the signatures were forged. During the hearing before the internal complaint cell, a woman had testified after impersonating as one of the victims of the harassment, the Crime Branch found out.
Former Air India-SATS vice-president Binoy Jacob is the first accused in the case. After garnering evidence, Swapna was summoned to the Crime Branch office before lockdown and her statements were recorded. Crime Branch sources said she had ably assisted Binoy to prepare the fake complaint and forged signatures of 16 woman staff in it. The case was first probed by the Crime Detachment Cell and was later taken over by the Crime Branch. The complainant, Sibu, said the fake complaint had affected his life.
“I had to face a lot of issues because of the evil action of Binoy and Swapna. I was shunted out to Hyderabad and all my savings had been spent on legal expenses. I had filed the complaint in 2016 and if there was a proper probe on my complaint, the true designs of the accused could have been revealed much earlier. Apart from salvaging my pride and life, it could have averted the present embarrassment that the accused has brought to the government, the (Thiruvananthapuram) airport and people by indulging in gold smuggling,” he said.