NIA takes Swapna Suresh, Sandeep Nair into custody in gold smuggling case
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken into its custody two prime accused in a case related to in the smuggling of 30 kg of gold through diplomatic baggage in Kerala, NDTV reported. The two persons — Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair — were arrested by the NIA from Bengaluru on Saturday (July 11).
According to the report, the investigation agency on Friday booked the duo under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The NIA had begun the investigation in the case as preliminary inquiries revealed that the gold, which arrived in baggage at the international airport in Thiruvananthapuram, could have been used for terrorism financing.
The report added that another accused, named Sarith, had been taken into custody by the Customs department. An official told NDTV that Sarith would be presented before magistrate. “No matter how highly anyone is positioned, the law is above them. And we are going to get them,” NDTV quoted Customs Commissioner Sumit Kumar as saying.
Swapna, Sarith, and Sandeep Nair of Thiruvananthapuram and Fazil Fareed of Ernakulam have been listed in the smuggling case as accused. Central agencies including the NIA and the Customs had earlier opposed her anticipatory bail plea in the Kerala High Court.
According to sources, Swapna, her husband and their children aged 19 and eight, drove in a car to Bengaluru. Sandeep Nair was also present with family. They were put up in certain locations en route and reached Bangalore two days ago. They first stayed in a hotel in BTM Layout then shifted to Octave Hotel in Koramangala.
The Bengaluru NIA team, on a tip-off, raided the hotel and arrested them. Their passports, 3 mobile phones, and ₹2.5 lakh in cash and identity cards had been recovered.