Gold smuggling case: ED moves Kerala HC, seeks quashing of FIR against officials. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in the Kerala High Court seeking to terminate a FIR registered by its officials by Kerala police for allegedly forcing Swapna Suresh, a key suspect in the gold smuggling case, to issue statements to Prime Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
In its application, the ED alleges that the FIR registered its unnamed officials with “malicious motives for disrupting legal investigations” under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in a major economic case of smuggling large amounts of gold.
In its prayer, the ED has requested that the MOTO be removed or that the investigation be transferred from the state police to the CBI to ensure a fair investigation.
The organization also demanded that the court comply with all FIRM action against ED officials and that no action be taken to compel Enforcement Directorate officials to “perform their duties legally” under the PMLA 2002 pending the application.
The FIR held registration is registered with the intention of putting pressure on Investigating Officers, otherwise “ensuring that the trial is not conducted in a fair and impartial manner because some of the highest-ranking individuals are involved in this case,” said the ED. It also revealed that the first investigation allegedly conducted by state police was clearly a farce.
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The Crime Branch registered the case on March 17 on the basis of a report submitted by the Crime Branch team investigating the leak of the voice clip, which was named after Suresh.
According to the FIR, ED officials are investigating a case of gold smuggling when they questioned a defendant named Swapna Prabha Suresh on August 12 and 13, 2020, forcing him to give false statements against the state minister in order to make false evidence.
Crime Branch case is registered under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 167 (public servant writes incorrect document with intent to injure), 192 (creates false evidence), 195-A (threatens anyone to give false evidence), among other things, code -Indian Penal.
Suresh, a former UAE ambassador here, is the main defendant in a case of 30 kilograms of gold costing 14.82 crore in consignment and is currently in legal custody since his arrest.
In a voice clip thought to be Suresh’s that was circulated a few months ago, some ED officials allegedly threatened him during cross-examination at the company’s Kochi office in August last year to present statements to Vijayan and other ministers.
Later, two community police officers, who had been with Suresh during cross-examination by the ED, also reportedly heard that ED officials were forcing him to name Vijayan.
In addition to the ED, Customs and the National Investigation Agency are also investigating the gold smuggling via a social media channel.
Vijayan has accused Central agencies of pointing fingers at his government.