Kerala Gold Smuggling case: Swapna Suresh collected $1 lakh by threatening bank official, report

Gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh collected 1 lakh dollars using an official of a private bank which handles the accounts of the UAE consulate, it has come to light. This was revealed to the NIA probe team by the official himself. A top official in Unitac company which was involved in the controversy related to the Life Mission acted as an intermediary, the NIA has found.

This transaction took place in the first week of August 2019 soon after Unitac started construction of the Life Mission apartment complex in Wadakkanchery. The project was funded by the Red Crescent organisation in UAE. The money in dollar was collected after transferring Rs 5.25 crore from the UAE consulate’s account with a private bank to the Federal Bank account of Unitac.

The amount was transferred from one of the six accounts of the consulate. Swapna Suresh was responsible for this deal. The private bank official told the NIA that he was threatened to collect the dollar from illegal transactors and the equivalent amount in Indian rupees was handed over by a top official of Unitac at a hotel in the capital city.

The official had informed the bank unofficially that he collected dollars through illegal means and handed over the same. However, the amount transferred from consulate’s account took time to get credited in the Unitac’s account and Swapna Suresh admonished the official for this, as he informed the bank in writing. Another official who works in the bank’s branch outside Kerala revealed this to Mathrubhumi.

Swapna summoned the official to the consulate and threatened him of moving the account to other banks. The reason for collecting dollars via unauthorised ways and transferring the amount directly is yet to be clarified. It is assumed that this might have taken place outside India.

The next day, Rs 2.25 crore was transferred to the account of a company named Saas Ventures. The NIA is investigating into the connections of this company with Life Mission. However, the probe will not continue if the amount was transferred for other activities of the consulate.

The official had informed the bank that Swapna told him to do the ‘needful’ so that the accounts of UAE consulate in Hyderabad also will be opened with their bank. However, the bank authorities directed him not to take illegal ways. The investigation will lead to the Life Mission project on the basis of these information.