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KERALA SMUGGLING CASE: PMLA COURT REJECTS BAIL PLEA OF KEY ACCUSED

KERALA SMUGGLING CASE: PMLA COURT REJECTS BAIL PLEA OF KEY ACCUSED
There was a Special Court arranged for the case of Kerala gold smuggling scam in Kochi where the bail plea of Swapna Suresh, one of the main accused of the scandal was rejected by the PMLA Court. The bail plea was rejected by the PMLA Court on the grounds that there is prima facie evidence showing the involvement of the accused Swapna Suresh in the scandal and it was also stated by the Court that she is a prominent person and granting her bail can disturb the smooth functioning of the investigating team. It can also be presumed that she can influence the witnesses if given bail and intrude the investigation. 

The case was registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) as the case involves money traces through illegal trade and as the case is still in its initial stage, the PMLA Court has suggested that illegal laundering of money poses a serious and grave risk to present financial system of the country as well as its sovereignty. So, it was necessary to rule out the bail plea of the key accused to maintain integrity and genuineness of the case. 

The accused has also admitted before the Enforcement Directorate that she was associated with another accused of the case and some others too who are not yet within the ambit of the case yet. As per Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the accused has also admitted that she had participated in the conspiracy and even in the smuggling of gold from the foreign nation. 

While interrogating certain revelations made by the accused note that she has ‘considerable influence’ in the office of Kerala Chief Minister and thus in order to avoid any meddling of the evidence, her bail plea was rejected by the Court. The ED has further said that the investigation is moving ahead and all the persons linked with the scandal will also be questioned. Before this bail plea, an NIA Court, and Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Economic Offenses have also rejected Suresh’s bail plea in different cases registered by the NIA and Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate respectively. 

The agencies such as NIA, Customs, and Enforcement Directorate are examining the case and claiming that an estimate of the worth of Rs 100 crore of smuggled gold is involved in the scandal through some diplomatic and consular luggage which was addressed to the UAE consulate at Thiruvananthapuram since November 2019. 


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