Suspended IAS officer M Sivasankar gets bail in dollar smuggling case

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Kochi, Feb 3 (PTI) A court here on Wednesday granted bail to suspended IAS officer M Sivasankar in connection with the dollar smuggling case, which came to light during the probe into the gold smuggling racket in Kerala in which he is an accused.

The Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate court (Economic Offences) granted bail to the former Principal Secretary of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, after directing him to furnish a bond of Rs 2 lakh, two sureties for the like amount and appear before the investigating officers here every Monday.

The customs had arrested him in the dollar case on January23.

Sivasankar is in judicial custody since the past 98 days following his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Customs in the cases relating to the sensational gold smuggling through diplomatic channel, money trail and dollar smuggling.

Earlier, he was given bail in two cases and the dollar case was the only one pending against him.

He is likely to come out of the Kakkanad sub jail here, where he is lodged, by afternoon.

The dollar case relates to alleged smuggling of USD 1,90,000 (equivalent to Rs 1.30 crore) by a former finance head of the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram to Muscat in Oman.

Prime accused in the gold smuggling case Swapna Suresh and Sarith P S are also allegedly involved in the dollar case and had already been arrested by the Customs.

Sivasankarwas suspended after his links to Suresh, also a former employee of the consulate, surfaced.

The Customs on January 8 had recorded the statement of Kerala Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan''s assistant private secretary in connection with the dollar smuggling case. PTI Corr UD ROH ROH