Thursday, July 30, 2020

Court asks NIA to present proof to link terrorism and gold smuggling

Kochi: As the terrorism link in the recent incident of gold smuggling via the diplomatic channel is still being debated, the NIA Court here on Wednesday asked the national agency to present details of incriminating materials that point to this. The court asked this when the bail application of Swapna Suresh was considered.Judge P Krishnakumar asked the NIA to submit the case diary and list out details of incriminating materials in it that can link the terrorism angle in the case. Prosecutor of NIA Arjun Ambalapatta said after going through the case diary, the court will be convinced about the terrorist link behind the gold smuggling. He said proceeds of the gold smuggled in earlier were directed towards terrorism activities.

Arjun also said Swapna was used by the smuggling gang under K T Rameez to send gold through the diplomatic baggage. “If there was no Swapna, the gang could not have sent the gold through the diplomatic channel. We have collected incriminating evidence to establish that the accused persons intended to destabilise the nation’s monetary security by planning to smuggle the maximum quantities of gold during the lockdown period,” he said.

Swapna’s counsel Geo Paul said there was an ugly haste from the part of NIA to make her an accused which, he suspects, was due to political reasons. “The NIA registered the FIR on July 10, five days after the Customs opened the diplomatic baggage at Thiruvananthapuram airport. When the NIA registered the FIR, Swapna was not even an accused in the Customs case. There was an ugly haste due to political reasons in making Swapna an accused in the NIA case,” he said.
30/07/20 New Indian Express
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