Udayavni Special

Kerala gold smuggling case: How did NIA nab accused Swapna and Suresh?


Team Udayavani, Jul 13, 2020, 2:16 PM IST

Palakkad/Kochi: The case of gold being smuggled in a United Arab Emirates diplomatic bag came to light on July 4. The main culprits in the case – Swapna Suresh and Sandeep – were apprehended by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on July 11 from Bengaluru.

Both Swapna and Sandeep were missing from Thiruvananthapuram from over a week.

Earlier suspicion was that both of them must be hiding somewhere in Kochi. But a few speculated that they have already escaped out of the State.

Bengaluru only came up on the radar of investigators in a coincidence.

Customs officials raided the house of Sandeep’s brother on July 10. While the officials were there Sandeep called his brother on his mobile phone. That call was accepted by an official. Later, when the call was investigated, it was known that Sandeep was in Bengaluru.

However, Swapna’s whereabouts were still unknown. But her luck gave her away.

Swapna’s mobile phone, which was switched off for more than a week, was turned on by her daughter which revealed her location to be at Bengaluru too. Immediately, NIA officials swing into action, came to Bengaluru and took her into custody.

On the morning of Sunday, July 12, both the accused were brought to Kerala in NIA vehicles while Kerala Congress workers shouted and protested at some places along the road.

A Vikas Dubey-like incident occurred while bringing the two to Kerala from Bengaluru.

The vehicle in which Sandeep was, suffered a puncture near Vadakkencherry after crossing the border into Kerala. The officials stopped the car and immediately shifted Sandeep into the vehicle carrying Swapna.

Both have now been sent to 14-day remand.

It is not clear how both escaped lockdown in Thiruvananthapuram and escaped to Bengaluru. According to NIA officials, they must have escaped through road and believe they were planning to escape to Nagaland.

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