The Kerala High Court on Friday deferred the bail application of Swapna Suresh, the main accused in the Thiruvanathapuram airport gold smuggling case, to Tuesday after her lawyer said he is yet to get a copy of the first information report filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Though the plea was deferred the high court did not stay her arrest. The NIA opposed her bail plea saying the smuggling incident involves international ramifications and the accused enjoyed a good rapport with influential people. She had moved the Kerala High Court for bail on Thursday.
The Union Home Ministry had handed over the probe to the NIA on Thursday. This is the first time the agency is investigating a smuggling case.
The Customs Department had seized 30 kgs of gold from an air cargo consignment from the United Arab Emirates to the country’s consulate in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday. Suresh, who was working as the operational manager of the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited under the state IT Ministry, had gone underground after the seizure. Later, the CM had transferred his principal secretary M Sivasankar who was close to Suresh.
The issue took on political colour after the Opposition Congress and BJP claimed that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan knew about his principal secretary Sivasankar’s alleged link with the prime accused. As the issue flared up, more skeletons started tumbling out of the cupboard of the accused.