THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Crime Branch (CB) is preparing to record the arrest of gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh, the former executive secretary at the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, in a forgery case.
Sources with Crime Branch said the arrest would be recorded soon and she would be taken into custody for questioning, if required, when the National Investigation Agency’s probe into gold smuggling through the diplomatic channel reaches its business end.
Swapna is the second accused in the forgery case which Crime Branch had probed as per a High Court directive.The case pertains to the forging of signatures of 16 woman employees of Air India-SATS which were then used to cook up a sexual harassment complaint against an Air India whistleblower.
Former Air India-SATS vice-president Binoy Jacob has been arraigned as the first accused, while Swapna was listed as the second accused after NIA arrested her in the smuggling case.
Crime Branch had questioned her before the lockdown where she reportedly admitted to her involvement in the crime.
An officer said CB will move a plea before the NIA Court seeking permission to arrest Swapna. Her custody will also be sought as more information regarding the forgery case needs to be gleaned from her, the officer added.
However, the agency will tread cautiously while seeking custody due to the sensitive nature of the case she is currently implicated in.
Allegations are rife that the Kerala Police did not try to locate Swapna while she was on the run after the gold smuggling episode came to light. “There could be unnecessary allegations if we seek her custody. We will tread cautiously to avoid controversies,” said the CB officer.
Ultimately, her expertise in writing letters turned the needle of suspicion in the forgery case towards Swapna, CB sources said. When a copy of the complaint surfaced, it became evident that someone with good language skills had drafted the letter.
“Swapna’s colleagues were convinced that she was behind such a letter alleging sexual harassment. At that point, none in that office other than Swapna had the language skills to draft such a letter. Many of the staff told us so. That was how her involvement first came to light. Later, she confessed to her role in the crime,” the CB officer said.