Thiruvananthapuram, July 9: Swapna Suresh, the main accused in a gold smuggling case that has alarmed the political circles of Kerala, moved the High Court seeking an anticipatory bail plea. An official of the Kerala State Information Technology (KSIT) department, Swapna is charged as the key suspect in facilitating the smuggling of gold through the "diplomatic baggage" route. What is Kerala's Gold Smuggling Case And Why is CM Pinarayi Vijayan Under Attack?

Reports on Thursday confirmed that Swapna filed an anticipatory bail plea through her counsel before the High Court. The petition was moved by her while absconding from arrest for the past week. The Kerala HC would decide the dates for consideration of plea today.

Update by ANI

The gold smuggling case has hit the highest corridors of power in Kerala, as Swapna was allegedly linked to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's Principal Secretary M Sivasankar.

According to reports, Sivasankar had recommended Swapna for posting in the IT department after her stint with the UAE consulate in Kerala and as an HR manager in Air India SATS. Sivasankar was also heading the KSIT department.

Amid the row, Sivasankar was removed as the Principal Secretary on Wednesday. CM Vijayan, while assuring a thorough probe into the matter, dismissed the links being drawn to him in the scam. "This is totally rubbish," he commented, adding that the Chief Minister's office (CMO) is not linked to the case.

The alleged smuggling racket was unearthed after a former employee of the UAE consulate was arrested for allegedly using his erstwhile position to receive smuggled gold from the Emirates through the diplomatic baggages at the Thiruvananthapuram airport.

The diplomatic luggages are not subjected to scrutiny as the baggage of other arrivals. This allowed Sarith, the arrested accused, to allegedly receive the smuggled gold from UAE.

Sarith was, however, apprehended by the Customs Department earlier this month with 30 kg of gold. After being arrested, he named Swapna as a co-accused. Since then, the latter has been absconding.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 09, 2020 09:31 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website