Swapna Suresh, the high-profile lady who moved in the corridors of power, rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty in Kerala, was reportedly not in talking terms with her elder brother.
Swapna Suresh, a consultant with the Kerala IT department, is reportedly on the run after her name came up in the investigation into the gold smuggling scandal, which links her with top smugglers operating from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Speaking to a Malayalam TV channel from the US on Wednesday, her brother Bright Suresh said that was not in talking terms with Swapna.
"We are three siblings, and I am the eldest one. We were all in the UAE and when I turned 17, I left for the the US from where I graduated. Now I am settled in the US and work with a telecom company. Swapna is the second sibbling while our youngest brother is settled in India," said Suresh.
Their parents are settled in the suburbs of the state capital.
"When I went home a few years back, she had threatened me and warned me that if I didn't return to the US, my hands and legs will be chopped. She was upset because she felt that I would get a share of the property, which she didn't want. Me and my brother occasionally speak, and that's it. I interact with my mother. My parents will decide on the property. I earn my own living," said Suresh.
On Sunday, the Air Customs attached to the Thiruvananthapuram airport had seized 30 kg gold that arrived on a cargo flight and was kept in a warehouse for release. The baggage had arrived from Dubai and is understood to have been marked to the UAE Consulate which has its office in the heart of the state capital.
The Consulate's PRO, Sarith, has been arrested, while the prime suspect in the smuggling racket, Swapna, a woman who wears many hats, is on the run. She also happens to be close to the ruling Left Democratic Front government in the state.
She had worked in the Consulate office here for a while and was in good terms with Sarith.
It was only after the arrest of Sarith that the revelations turned murky as Swapna, who is presently a consultant with the Kerala IT department, was very close to senior IAS officer and Secretary to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, M. Sivasankar, who was also the IT Secretary.
With both the Congress and the BJP demanding that Vijayan should come clean, Sivasankar was on Tuesday removed from his office as well as from the post of IT Secretary.
Sivasankar later applied for a year's leave, which has been sanctioned.
With the case getting huge media attention, the Union government has taken it up at the highest level, even as Vijayan on Tuesday night said that he was ready to face any probe.
"We have no say in the matter. We are ready to face any probe and the Centre can decide which agency should probe the matter," said Vijayan.