The penalty imposed in connection with the gold smuggling through a diplomatic channel case. Swapna has to pay Rs 6 crore and Sivasankar Rs 50 lakh as penalty. The order also asks for the confiscation of the bank deposits and cars of the accused. Others who are ordered to pay Rs 6 crore each are Sarith PS Sandeep Nair, Ramees K.T., Jamal Hussein Alzaabi (former U.A.E. Consul General in the state capital city of Thiruvananthapuram) and U.A.E. Consulate Administration Attache Rashed Khamis Alimusaiquri Al Ashmei.
Mohammed Shafi, Saidalavi E, Samju, TM Shamsudheen and Faisal Fareed have been alleged to have funded the smuggled gold and also facilitated the illegal activities; they are ordered to pay the penalty of Rs 2.25 crore each. AM Jaleel, Rabin Hameed, Abdu PT and Mohammed Anwar TM have to pay Rs. 2 cr each for their alleged involvement in the smuggling and transporting that gold to gold dealers. Swapana’s former husband Jayasankar. S is fined Rs 2 crore. The accused, PT Ahmedkutty and Mohammed Manzour have to pay Rs 1.5 crore each.
The Customs order has reportedly said that Swapna and Sarith had given voluntary statements that Sivasankar was aware of smuggling activities and he deserves penalty. The order says that Sivasankar had close links with Swapna Suresh and Consul General Jamal Alzaabi. The argument that he was not aware of the gold smuggling though the diplomatic channel at air cargo complex in Thiruvananthapuram does not appear to be genuine.
Customs Commissioner heard the accused before issuing the order. The next step is the prosecution of the accused.
The Customs seized 30.245 kgs of gold on July 5, 2020 worth Rs 14.82 crore, addressed to the diplomat of U.A.E. Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram. Further investigation proved that 136.828 kg of gold was also smuggled through these channels several times. ED and NIA had conducted investigations into the smuggling incident, too.
When the story broke out in 2020, it created major ruckus in Kerala politics. Sivasankar was the blue-eyed boy of Pinarayi Vijayan, the CPM supremo and the chief minister. Naturally, both the BJP and the opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) alleged that the CPM leadership was in hand with the culprits. Later on Swapna Suresh told the media about her close proximity with Sivasankar, P Sreeramakrishnan and Kadakampilli Surendran, the then Speaker and Minister, respectively, and even the Chief Minister and his family.
There were allegations that Swapan could evade arrest and escape to Benglooru, even at the height of the stringent travel restrictions during the Corona – 19 pandemic, owing to the help of the CPM regime.
Recently, Swapna levelled several allegations against the CPM government, the CM, Sivasankar, and several others.