On Sunday, customs officers at Thiruvananthapuram international airport seized 30 kg gold worth Rs 15 crore from a consignment meant for the Consulate of the United Arab Emirates in the city. The main accused, a woman identified as Swapna Suresh, is currently absconding after calls for her arrest.
While Swapna Suresh has been sacked, the opposition has targeted the Kerala Chief Minister’s Office. This is because the IT Department where Swapna was working was directly under the purview of the Kerala Chief Minister’s Office.
Swapna Suresh is also former employee of the UAE Consulate. If you Google search her name, you can find her LinkedIn profile. However, on clicking it, it appears as if she has put all necessary filters to ensure a third-party cannot see her profile details. However, her Facebook profile, which is open, had her last post, dated in April. This hasn’t stopped people flooding her timeline to troll her about the scandal in the past few hours.
According to a report in The News Minute, another person, identified as Sarith Nair, also involved in the scandal, was an employee of the consulate. The report added that Nair, a former Public Relations Officer at the consulate, used a fake identity card to collect the bag that had the smuggled gold. While Sarith was arrested, according to an Indian Express report, information about Swapna’s role as the kingpin came during interrogation
Leader of Opposition in Kerala, Ramesh Chinnithala, on Tuesday said that it was ‘startling to know that a former lady employee of the UAE consulate had managed to get a job in Space Park, an institution under the Information Technology department, despite having a dubious record that involves a detailed investigation.’
The case Chinnithala refers to was when Swapna Suresh worked as a HR manager with Air India SATS Airport Service before her stint with the UAE Consulate. During this time, she had a criminal case registered against her after fabricating a false case against an Air India staffer. It was during this time she was employed by the Kerala State IT Department through PricewaterhouseCooper.
Vijayan, however, says that he wasn’t aware of Swapna Suresh’s recruitment and rubbished his role in the case, saying that the allegations were baseless.