CB begins probe into leak of audio clip


The State Police (CB) Crime Directorate has opened a preliminary investigation to verify the authenticity of an accusatory voice recording allegedly belonging to detainee COFEPOSA and accused of trafficking gold, Swapna Suresh.

The stated aim of the investigation was to find out whether the media leak of the audio clip revealed a plot to discredit the Directorate of Law Enforcement (DE). The DE is investigating a few cases involving government agencies such as Life Mission and the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).

The Crime Branch would also examine whether the “intentional disclosure” of the audio clip to the media and its subsequent release revealed an identifiable offense or a violation of the rules that govern the Department of Prisons and Corrections.

The widely circulated voice cut had sparked controversy with the narrator, suggesting that “investigators” had “forced” her to testify against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The general manager had pointed out that the narrator did not name any agency.

Investigators said they should confiscate the cell phone or device the voice was recorded on to verify its authenticity. Additionally, Swapna was allowed to make monitored calls to relatives from prison.

The ED had perceived that the appearance of the digital captioning heralded voice cut on a strongly politically oriented website indicated a plot to blacken its investigations.

The DE subsequently asked the Department of Prisons to share its findings with the agency. A preliminary ministry investigation suggested the voice may belong to Swapna.

However, officials said it was unlikely that this was recorded at Attakulangara Women’s Prison here. Swapna had served his sentence in Kakkanad sub-prison after his arrest by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Bangalore in August.

Prison officials said Swapna was under close surveillance at the prison. She is allowed to meet close relatives once a week on Wednesdays.

Requests to meet with Swapna are sent to customs for verification. So far, the prison department has only allowed her mother, children, and husband to meet with her. Customs and prison officials are invariably present at meetings.

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