NIA seeks custody of Swapna, others

For verifying digital evidence


The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has sought the police custody of Swapna Suresh and other accused in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case for verification of digital evidence extracted from the gadgets seized from them.

The agency submitted before the special judge that it could extract around 2TB each of data from the digital devices seized from Swapna, Sandeep Nair, and three others in the case. Initial scrutiny of the data was completed on September 11.

The data were extracted by forwarding the devices to the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC). CDAC had also obtained the mirror image of the devices, the agency submitted.

The police custody of the accused was required for confronting them with the incriminating contents found in the digital devices and other relevant facts, it submitted.

The agency has so far arrested 30 persons in the case.

In its report, the NIA repeated its suspicion that the accused used the proceeds of the crime for funding terrorist activities. The role of the accused in the offence is required to be identified through detailed custodial interrogation, the agency submitted.

Meanwhile, Geo Paul, the lawyer representing Sawpna, said she was in the custody of various investigating agencies for over two months. She was initially arrested on July 7. The accused was hospitalised at the Medical College Hospital, Thrissur, following heart ailments, he said.

The defence team will approach the court to ensure the safety of the accused in police custody as she had complained of serious physical ailments, Mr. Paul said.

The special judge posted the case for Tuesday.