Gold smuggling case: Swapna’s connection with Islamists, ISRO-linked initiatives

Swapna Suresh, the second accused in the Thiruvananthapuram Airport smuggling case, is a cog in the smuggling mafia ecosystem, which is ruling the roost in Kerala, according to customs officials. Politicians, radical Islamist outfits, film actors, financiers, police and bureaucrats form key players in the ecosystem.

Kerala has emerged as the gold smuggling capital of India. Smuggling gold is the main source of money for the Islamist outfits, which are spreading their tentacles in all areas of social, political and economic life of the state. Demonetization had dealt a heavy blow on the mafia who used to flood the market with fake currency. Now it has turned to gold in a big way. The mafia has invested heavily in films, land and other areas of economic activity. It has invested heavily in media outlets also, say experts.

So far, the reportage on the smuggling case has revolved around Swapna Suresh and no information whatsoever has come out on the beneficiaries of the smuggling. It is not the first time that diplomatic route was misused to smuggle in gold into the country. The NIA, which is probing the case, has stated: “Initial investigation by Customs Department has revealed that Sarith PS had received multiple such consignments earlier as well.”

Meanwhile, Janam TV has exposed Swapna’s ‘association’ with the activists of SDPI, the political arm of radical Islamist outfit Popular Front of India.

A senior police official on the condition of anonymity said that the mafia has penetrated into all the areas of state administration and posing a major threat to the national security. More alarmingly, the Chief Minister’s Office has played the role of a facilitator for the mafia.

India’s space agency ISRO has been a target of foreign spy agencies inimical to India. The notorious fake ISRO spy scandal of 1980s was staged to sabotage India’s ambitious cryogenic engine project. The scandal had adversely affected the progress of the project.

Questions are being raised over how a matriculate like Swapna Suresh has become the main coordinator of the Space Conclave, organised by the state government in collaboration with ISRO. She presented an award to MC Dathan, former senior scientist of the ISRO and Scientific Advisor to the Chief Minister of Kerala. There was a controversy over his appointment as the scientific advisor when there is a Scientific Council to undertake this task. Swapna is learnt to have been also appointed to the top position of the SpacePark, a facility set up by the state government in collaboration with ISRO. NIA is expected to question MC Dathan to find out whether his name and contacts were misused by someone. While some observers say that the whole exercise was to smuggle in gold hassle free, others say there is more sinister conspiracy involved.