Kochi (Kerala) [India], October 28 (ANI): The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday recorded the arrest of former principal secretary of Kerala chief minister M Sivasankar in a money laundering case in connection with the Kerala Gold Smuggling Case.
Earlier this morning the ED took him into custody from Thiruvananthapuram and brought him by car to Ernakulam. He is being interrogated by officials at the ED office at Kochi.
Sivasankar will be produced before the Principal Sessions Court, Ernakulam on Thursday.
Union Minister V Muraleedharan tweeted about the development and said that it proves the direct involvement of Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who he said must resign immediately and apologise to the people of Kerala.
"The arrest of M Shivashankar, the former Principal Secretary at @CMOKerala in the #KeralaGoldSmugglingCase, by the @dir_ed exposed the deliberate attempt by @vijayanpinarayi and his coterie to shelter and aid the smugglers and anti-national element," he tweeted.
In a subsequent tweet, he said: "Today's arrest proves the direct involvement of @vijayanpinarayi in #Goldscam. It's just a tip of the iceberg and he will not be the last person. The arrogant & shameless @vijayanpinarayi must seek an unconditional apology from the people of Kerala and resign immediately."
Earlier in the day, Sivasankar was taken into custody in the case by the ED from the Ayurveda hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, where he was admitted.
The Kerala High Court had refused to grant anticipatory bail to Sivasankar in cases registered by the ED and the Customs department in connection with the smuggling of gold into the state through diplomatic channels.
The case, which is currently being probed by the ED, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Customs Department, pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels.
The matter had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crores, smuggled in a diplomatic cargo, was busted by the Customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5. (ANI)