Dollar smuggling case: Ernakulam court orders ED not to share Swapna Suresh's statement

Customs refused to hand over the transcript of the statement . The courts decision marks a significant loss for the central government .

KOCHI, Dec. 13, 2009: The Ernakulam additional chief judicial magistrate (economic offences) court dismissed a petition filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for the permission to obtain a copy of Swapna Sureshs confidential statement in the dollar smuggling case, which is under scrutiny by Customs.After considering Customs' argument that the trial is not yet over, the court refused to hand over the transcript of the statement, which is included in Section 164 of CrPC.Customs counsel denied permission to obtain a copy of Swapnas' confidential statement, citing a Supreme Courts decision that against giving a copy of confidential statement to other departments after the probe is done.In the gold smuggling case investigated by Customs, the court had given ED permission to obtain a copy of Swapnas' confidential declaration.

The ED wanted to see the classified note in the dollar smuggling case, because they wanted to compare it to a similar note given to the ED in a money laundering lawsuit recently.The court's decision, in contrast, marks a significant loss for the central government.The dollar smuggling operation is currently being investigated.As he was flying from the state capital to Egypt in 2019, an Egyptian national, who was an employee of the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, had smuggled US Dollars.

On Thursday, the ED team prosecuting the lawsuit against Swapna under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) posted her statement for the second day in a row.She appeared before the ED at its headquarters in Kochi about 11 a.m. and went until 6.30 p.m. She was questioned on the recent testimony she made under 164 CrPC, according to ED sources.Swapna told reporters that the statement recording was yet to be finished and that she would need to appear for further examination.The exact time has yet to be determined.

She had earlier disclosed that she had issued a confidential report about the presence of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, his wife Kamala, her daughter Veena, M Sivasankar, former private secretary C M Raveendran, former minister KT Jaleel, and retired IAS officer Nalini Netto in the gold smuggling investigation.