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Kerala NGO ‘forced’ to terminate gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh’s employment

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kerala gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh has been expelled from the NGO she used to work at. The NGO’s termination letter stated that it tried to protect her but the government was against it and it has been forced to terminate her employment.

Swapna Suresh

Swapna Suresh, the main accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case, has been expelled by her employer, an NGO called HRDS (Highrange Rural Development Society). She was the director of the women empowerment and CSR cells at HRDS India.

The termination letter stated that the company tried to protect her but the government is against them and they have been forced to terminate her. The letter also alleges that all HRDS offices are now under the lens of various government agencies like the police, revenue and other departments.

ALSO READ | ‘End this now’: Kerala gold smuggling accused collapses before media

GOLD SMUGGLING CASE

On July 5, 2020, customs officials at the international airport in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram seized baggage containing gold weighing over 30 kg and valued at around Rs 15 crore. The gold was inside diplomatic baggage and addressed to the UAE consulate.

Customs officials acted based on a tip off that the baggage was part of a smuggling syndicate trying to misuse the name of a person who enjoys diplomatic immunity.

The gold seizure snowballed into a major political controversy that shook the foundation of the ruling Left government, especially after top bureaucrat M Sivasankar got involved.

READ | Swapna Suresh’s revelations against Kerala CM in smuggling case stir up political storm

The former principal secretary to Kerala CM Vijayan was suspended from service after his links with prime accused Swapna Suresh surfaced. He was later arrested and granted bail thereafter.

A former staffer at the UAE consulate, Swapna Suresh, was hired by a private firm to work on a project for Kerala IT department, which is under chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The CM’s principal secretary, M Sivasankar, used to head this department.

An investigation revealed that Swapna Suresh had contacts with powerful people in Kerala and made several calls to them in the run-up to the current case of gold smuggling.

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