South India

Kerala gold smuggling case: Man held for issuing fake degree certificate to accused Swapna

A team of police officials attached to Cantonment Station arrested Sachin Das from Amritsar in Punjab. The police team along with Das is expected to arrive on Thursday.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala police on Tuesday arrested a Punjab resident for allegedly issuing a fake University degree certificate to Swapna Suresh, the prime accused in the gold smuggling case.

A team of police officials, attached to the Cantonment Station, arrested Sachin Das from Amritsar in Punjab. The police team, along with Das, is expected to arrive on Thursday.

Swapna was arrested for smuggling gold by a National Investigation Agency (NIA) team from Bengaluru in July 2020. Her arrest was followed by the arrest of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s principal secretary — a top IAS official M. Sivasankar — who is out on bail after spending several weeks in prison in connection with the case.

During investigation, it was found that Swapna is a school dropout but managed to get a degree certificate from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University. Based on the fake certificate and influence of high ranking officials like Sivasankar, she secured a plush job in the IT department which was headed by Vijayan.

Though a case was registered against her, no action was taken but after her allegations this June that Vijayan, his wife and daughter were engaged in the gold and cash smuggling, the police got into action and after a thorough probe, took Das into custody from Punjab.


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