Kerala High Court order in gold smuggling case
Sandeep Nair, the fourth accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case, came out of the Central Jail on Saturday after getting bail. The Kerala High Court on Friday dropped the charges filed against him under the Protection of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities (COFEPOSA) Act. Following the High Court’s order, the charges against Swapna Suresh, the main accused in the case, were also dropped under the COFEPOSA Act. But she is still in jail, as she is still facing other charges leveled by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Last year, Sandeep Nair, the fourth accused in the case registered by the NIA, had filed a petition in a special court in Kochi to voluntarily put forth the full facts under the provision of section 164 (recording of confessions and statements) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Willing to and with the permission of the court is ready to become a government witness. The case of smuggling came to light on July 5, 2020, when Customs arrested Sarit, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here, for smuggling gold in diplomatic baggage destined for the consulate.
All three in judicial custody
Swapna Suresh (who earlier worked in the UAE Consulate) and her aide Sandeep Nair were arrested by the NIA from Bengaluru in this case a few days later. Since then all three are in judicial custody. Talking to the media soon after coming out on bail, Nair said that Sarit was his good friend for many years and it was through him that he knew Swapna Suresh.
Nair said, I am not a big businessman, as I started my own business by taking loan from many banks. I became an official witness by telling the facts of the case to the court and I stand by what I have said. Please wait a bit, the whole truth will come out. When strict travel restrictions were imposed last year to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, both Swapna Suresh and Nair managed to travel from here to Bengaluru, from where they were arrested by an NIA team a few days later.
Also read- India will have to be prepared for the adverse circumstances arising in Afghanistan, Taliban government is not inclusive: Foreign Secretary Shringla