Two key accused in Kerala gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, were taken into custody by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Bengaluru on Saturday, official sources said.
Swapna is named as the second accused and Sandeep has been named as the fourth accused in the FIR taken by NIA and both have been slapped with Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, (UAPA) along with first accused Sarith PS and third accused Fazil Fareed.
Already, Sarith PS was arrested by the Customs, while Fazil Fareed is still at large. NIA officials yesterday conducted a detailed interrogation of Sarith after reaching the customs office in Kochi where he is in custody.
According to the official statement issued by NIA, “Accused Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair have been detained in Kerala Gold Smuggling case. They are being examined and will be arrested in due course. They have been detained from BTM Layout in Bangalore.”
It is learned that both of them will be taken to Kochi after getting the transit warrant. The NIA sleuths carried out the arrest a day when customs officially asked the assistance of Kerala police for the investigation and the arrest of the duo.
Kerala DGP had constituted a special investigation team headed by Kochi City Deputy Commissioner of Police G Poonguzhali. The team he said will also coordinate with Customs and the NIA.
Meanwhile, Customs is carrying out multiple raids in Thiruvananthapuram including the house of Sandeep Nair in the outskirts of the city. According to sources, in the raid Customs has found crucial evidence to establish the case.
Customs officials also carried out a raid in a flat in Thiruvananthapuram city where former principal secretary to Chief Minister M Sivasankar used to reside.
The customs also seized the visitor’s register and recorded statements of the staff.