KOCHI: The Customs Preventive Commissionerate probing the Kerala gold and dollar smuggling case on Friday informed the Kerala High Court that Swapna Suresh, one of the prime accused in the case, has stated that smuggling of foreign currency was done at the instance of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan with the help of the UAE Consulate.
Sumit Kumar, Commissioner of Customs, informed the HC that in the 108 statement and 164 statement, Swapna made revelations about the Chief Minister, Speaker of Kerala and some Ministers of the state cabinet. Swapna also revealed Pinarayi Vijayan's close connections with the previous Consul General of UAE and the 'illegal' monetary transactions, Kumar said.
The statement was filed in response to a petition filed by the Director-General of Prisons and Correctional Services, Kerala, against certain remarks in the order of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) Court's providing security to Swapna, now housed at the Women's Prison and Correctional Home, Attakulangara, Thiruvananthapuram. The observation in the order will affect the credibility and bonafide of the jail department, argued the state.
The Customs Commissioner pointed out that Swapna had made shocking revelations about the Chief Minister, Assembly Speaker and three ministers in the state cabinet. Her close connection with the Chief Minister and his former Principal Secretary and a personal staffer was also disclosed in her statement.
Swapna had further mentioned the improper and illegal activities of three ministers of the state cabinet and the Speaker. She had also revealed the involvement of high-profile persons and the kickbacks received by them from various deals. She was aware of all these transactions and was a witness to them as she was well versed in the Arabic language and had acted as a translator in these 'crucial' deals, the statement said.
The role of former Principal Secretary M Sivasanakar in acting as a link between high profile politicians of Kerala and UAE Consulate officials and in coordinating the illegal financial dealing under the cover of various activities and projects of the government was also revealed by her, said the statement by the Customs Commissioner.
The confidential statement of Swapna under section 164 of CrPC exposes highly illegal, improper and immoral activities by those persons who are occupying high offices in the state, he said.
The Customs was prepared to produce in a sealed cover before the court the copies of the statement of Swapna recorded under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure and under section 108 of the Customs Act. Most of the facts revealed by the prime accused were matters exclusively within her knowledge and could be tendered as evidence in appropriate proceedings.
The statement said the apprehension of Swapna regarding her safety in the prison and threat to her life was perfectly justified and no fault could be found with her for seeking protection as the facts disclosed were highly sensitive. "They being high-profile politicians and holding high positions in the government are capable of repelling by all means," said the statement.
According to the Customs, DGP prisons have no jurisdiction to approach the High Court challenging an order passed by the sessions court to ensure safety on an accused in judicial custody, stating that he was aggrieved by some observations in the order. The approach of the petitioner was disgraceful, submitted the Customs.