Kerala gold smuggling case: ED takes suspended IAS officer M Sivasankar into custody soon after court rejects anticipatory bail plea
Sivasankar was detained from the Ayurveda hospital where he was admitted for treatment. Customs officials, however, claimed he was pretending illness to escape grilling by the agencies.Updated: Oct 28, 2020, 11:16 IST
The Kerala high court on Wednesday rejected the anticipatory bail plea moved by suspended IAS officer, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s former secretary M Sivasankar in connection with the gold smuggling case. Customs and the Enforcement Directorate opposed his bail plea saying that he was aware of the smuggling activities of Swapna Suresh. Soon after his bail plea was rejected, the ED detained him.
Once a very powerful bureaucrat, Sivasankar fell from grace after his name got linked to the gold smuggling case. 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.
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.
The sensational gold smuggling case surfaced on July 5 after 30 kg of yellow metal was seized by the customs from a package camouflaged as diplomatic consignment addressed to the UAE consulate.
Later P Sarith Kumar, a former public relations officer of the consulate who came to receive the luggage, was arrested by the customs. Two other suspects, Swapna Suresh and her accomplice Sandip Nair, were arrested from their hideout in Bengaluru five days later. Sivasankar was suspended after his alleged links with Suresh surfaced.