KOCHI: Swapna Suresh who was arrested in the case related to smuggling of gold using UAE diplomatic baggage, claimed that she was made a scapegoat for political gain. She stated this in the bail petition filed before NIA Court in Kochi on Tuesday.“Swapna’s name has been dragged into the case alleging that she had tried to release the cargo using her influence and she has been arraigned as an accused by the Customs. Nothing has been recovered from her and she was not a party in importing gold through diplomatic channel. As she realised that she was made a scapegoat for political gain, she approached Kerala High Court seeking anticipatory bail,” the bail petition filed by Swapna stated.
Swapna stated that she was born in the UAE and stayed there till she turned 19. Her father was an employee at a Sheik’s palace and they lived in quarters near the palace. She could read and write Arabic, Hindi, English and Malayalam. She was appointed as secretary to UAE consulate general in Thiruvananthapuram considering her experience in Gulf countries and her command over the languages.
“She was looking after the personal affairs of the consulate general, his family members and other diplomats. Even after giving up her job, Consulate of UAE was approaching her to do certain jobs under work-on-request basis as she was the only person they could communicate with in Thiruvananthapuram,” stated the bail plea.
She claimed that UAE consulate Charge D’ Affair called her to inquire about delay in release of cargo addressed to him which reached airport on June 30. Swapna contacted the Customs Assistant Commissioner and inquired about the delay. The official cited Covid-19 checking as a reason for the delay. “Had Swapna got any clue about the gold in the cargo, she would not have contacted the Customs Assistant Commissioner for the release of the baggage,” stated the bail plea.
The NIA court has decided to hear the bail petition on Friday. The Customs also filed a petition seeking a few hours’ time to interrogate Swapna and Sandeep while they are in NIA custody. The move came as Customs cannot record the arrest of the accused until a statement under Section 108 of Customs Act is recorded. NIA Court will deliver order on the petition on Wednesday.