Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 20, 2020 –
Already on the mat, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan appeared to have got some relief after the statement of Swapna Suresh, prime accused in the gold smuggling case, to the Enforcement Directorate, surfaced in the media, wherein she seems to have given a clean chit to Vijayan.
As per reports, Swapna has said that she had only had official interactions with the Chief Minister and there was no personal relation.
She has testified to the ED that there was only one occasion that she met Vijayan without being accompanied by the UAE Consulate officials and that was done to brief his wife about the visit of the Sharjah ruler and on the customs and practices to be undertaken during the visit.
She also testified that when her father passed away, Vijayan called her on the phone of his secretary M.Sivasankar.
Vijayan has been in the dock ever since the gold smuggling case surfaced with the arrest of P.S. Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here on July 5 by the Customs, after baggage to the UAE Consulate containing gold was found.
Swapna was also an employee of the UAE Consulate and later moved on to a plush salaried job at Space Park, which is under Vijayan.
Following the arrest of Sarith, Swapna and her business associate Sandip Nair was on the run, but was soon arrested from Bengaluru by the NIA.
After the arrest surfaced the news that Swapna and Sivasankar were good friends and later she termed him as her mentor.
Vijayan first removed Sivasankar from the post of his secretary and also the IT Secretary and then suspended him from the service.
With the Congress and the BJP breathing down Vijayan’s neck, he went into a shell and the only remark that he made then about Swapna was her statement that she made to the probe officials, which said that she ‘knew’ Vijayan as Chief Minister.
After some time, when the statements of Swapna given to various agencies first surfaced, Vijayan admitted that he had met her in his office, when she came along with the top UAE Consulate officials. This was quickly latched on to by Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala who launched a scathing attack on Vijayan.
It was the State BJP president K.Surendran, who first broke the news that Swapna and Vijayan knew one another quite well and the latter was feigning ignorance. (Agency)