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Kerala gold smuggling case: Swapna Suresh’s bail rejected, anti-terror law to apply

Swapna Suresh, the second accused in the Kerala diplomatic gold smuggling case, was denied bail on Monday by the NIA special court in Kochi. The court further added that provisions of the anti-terrror law, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), will apply in her case.

Suresh’s counsel opposed the application of UAPA against her client arguing that the case pertains to an “economic offence and is not terror related”.

The National Investigation agency, probing the case, opposed it, saying major proceeds from smuggling were used to fund anti-national activities in south India.

Earlier the premier agency told the court that it suspected the proceeds from the gold smuggling case might be used for terror funding.

The agency invoked Section 16 and 17 of the UAPA, which prescribes punishment for raising funds for terrorist activities.

After preliminary investigation, the NIA said, it found one of the accused K T Ramees, who is in custody now, was in touch with some fundamentalist organizations. He also undertook many foreign trips, including to Africa and he was suspected to be a part of an international smuggling and drug racket, the NIA added.

When Suresh’s two bank lockers were opened by the probe team last month it reportedly found Rs one crore in cash and two kg of gold. These lockers were in the joint name of Suresh and a chartered accountant. The latter reportedly told the team that he was allegedly asked by Sivasankar to help Suresh to open lockers three years ago.

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