Friday, August 28, 2020

Gold smuggling case: Customs quizzes journalist, may summon him again

The Commissionerate of Customs (Preventive) on Thursday interrogated Anil Nambiar, chief of a Malayalam TV channel, for five hours based on a statement given by gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh. Swapna had said the senior journalist asked her to claim that the controversial consignment seized by the Customs was a “personnel baggage”. The Customs has decided to quiz him again.

Swapna, in her 32-page confession statement, claimed that Anil had contacted her on July 5 when the consignment containing the gold was seized by Customs at Thiruvananthapuram airport. “Anil Nambiar said he was calling me on seeing the news in this regard. He asked me to tell the excellency (UAE diplomat) to release a statement stating that the cargo from which the gold was seized was not a diplomatic baggage but purely a personal baggage. I intimated this to his excellency who knew Anil.

The excellency asked me to tell Anil to draft a letter as required. I called him back and asked him to do so and he agreed,” Swapna said in her statement. However, as she was frantic to protect herself, she was not in a position to follow up the letter, she said. About her association with Anil, Swapna claimed that he was involved in a cheating case in Dubai. He approached Swapna through Sarith P S (another accused) to resolve the matter as he wanted to interview jeweller Atlas Ramachandran. She took it up with the consul-general who cleared it using his influence in Dubai. “Ever since, we have been good friends,” she said. On another occasion, Anil enquired about the UAE’s investments in India and requested the consulate’s support for BJP, she said.
28/08/20 New Indian Express
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