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Cong, BJP Bring Up New Name In Kerala Gold Smuggling Case

Thiruvananthapuram:  The gold smuggling case that has rocked the Pinarayi Vijayan government over the links of his former principal secretary and also the IT secretary M. Sivasankar with prime accused Swapna Suresh took a fresh turn with another name surfacing who allegedly has links with top notch politicians.

Congress Lok Sabha member and convenor of the party-led UDF, Behanan on Tuesday told the media about the role played by a young businessman from Alappuzha named Kiran in allowing Swapna and Sandip Nair to escape from Kerala by road to Bengaluru earlier this month.

“This Kiran wields considerable influence among the top notch ruling front politicians. His house has been a venue for such high profile people in the recent past. A probe will reveal who all had visited his house in the recent past,” said Behanan.

The BJP had also questioned the role played by Kiran in the facilitation of the prime accused in the gold smuggling case.

Reacting sharply to these allegations Kiran told the media on Tuesday that all that is being said about him is baseless and unfounded and he has no role at all in the present controversy.

Meanwhile the NIA court in Kochi on Tuesday extended the custody of Swapna and Sandip till July 24 as the NIA probe team said that they needed more time for questioning and collecting evidence.

The gold smuggling case first surfaced when P.S. Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here, was arrested by the Customs Department on July 5 when he was facilitating smuggling of 30 kg of gold in the diplomatic baggage to Thiruvananthapuram from Dubai.

It turned murkier when the name of Swapna, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here and employed with the state IT Department, surfaced.

On Tuesday the NIA team brought Sarith from Kochi to the state capital and took him to all the places where the smuggling gang had met.

(IANS)

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