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Prime accused Swapna shifts blame on UAE consulate general.


Kumar Chellapan

KOCHI, July 25 (HS) Swapna Suresh, the key accused in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case, has claimed that she contacted the Customs department on behalf of Rashid Khamis Al Sheimeili, who is presently in charge of the Consulate General of the UAE, and she was in no way connected with the case. 

The information comes immediately after the National Investigation Agency submitted Swapna Suresh's bail application. Agency has seized one kg gold and more than Rs One crore from her bank lockers.

"Rashid Khamis Al Sheimeili, who is the present acting charge of the Consulate General of UAE directed me to check with the Customs regarding the delay in delivery of his consignment that reached on June 30. Thereafter I contacted the Asst Commissioner of Customs with regard to the release of the diplomatic baggage," she said in the bail application.

According to Swapna and K T Ramees (her business partner who is also in the custody of the Customs) the Attaché was paid $ 1,500/- for each consignment that was brought to the country through the diplomatic channel.

Swapna, had earlier told the NIA court that she contacted the Assistant Commissioner of Customs over phone as part of her official work.

However, there are some missing links in the allegations charged by Swapna. The NIA had earlier seized the counterfeit seal and emblem of the UAE Consulate used by the accused to fabricate documents from a shop in Thiruvananthapuram. 

“We have to wait for the official word from the NIA and the Customs. The allegation by Swapna and Ramees could be an attempt to divert the course of the probe,” said George Joseph, a former superintendent of Kerala Police.