Gold smuggling case: Kerala CM’s former secretary M Sivasankar remanded in ED custody for a week
The ED in its remand report said that he was made the fifth accused in money laundering case related to gold smuggling.Updated: Oct 29, 2020, 12:05 IST
Former secretary of Kerala CM M Sivasankar, who was arrested in connection with the gold smuggling case on Wednesday after his anticipatory bail petition was rejected by Kerala High Court, was remanded in Enforcement Directorate custody for a week on Thursday.
The ED in its remand report said that he was made the fifth accused in money laundering case related to gold smuggling. He was aware of main accused Swapna Suresh’s smuggling activities, the agency said.
On Wednesday, he was detained from the Ayurveda hospital where he was admitted for treatment. When Sivasankar got hospitalised, the customs said he was pretending illness to escape grilling by the agencies.
Once a very powerful bureaucrat, Sivasankar fell from grace after his name got linked to the gold smuggling case that surfaced on July 5. As much as 30 kg of yellow metal was seized by the customs from a package camouflaged as diplomatic consignment addressed to the UAE consulate.
Earlier, the ED had claimed that there were attempts to bail Swapna Suresh out after the seizure of gold hidden in a bag camouflaged as a diplomatic baggage that came to the UAE consulate in the state capital. The agency has also accused Sivasankar of helping the main accused in money laundering. But Sivasankar told the court that he had been grilled for more than 90 hours and none of the agencies could implicate him in the case.
A multi-agency team comprising NIA, ED, DRI, Customs and Income Tax is probing the case and 32 people have been arrested so far. There are reports that smuggling was going on for more than a year through the UAE consulate and they smuggled at least 400 kg gold in several consignments.