Swapna Suresh disclosed Sivasankar, his CMO team was aware of gold smuggling: ED tells court

ANI
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Representative image
Representative image

Kochi (Kerala) [India], November 11 (ANI): Accused Swapna Suresh has disclosed that former principal secretary of Kerala Chief Minister's Office M Sivasankar and his team were fully aware of the gold smuggling, the Enforcement Directorate submitted before a Kochi court on Wednesday.

The ED, in its report, submitted that Swapna Suresh was shown certain Whatsapp messages exchanged between her and Sivasankar and asked to explain the context, after which she said that Sivasankar and his team at the CMO were fully aware of the gold smuggling and other electronic items sent through the diplomatic channels.

"Sivasankar was also aware of the kickbacks given by Unitac Builders to Swapna and her close associates including Khalid, CFO, UAE Consulate in lieu of facilitating the award of a contract from Red Crescent under the Life Mission Projects. Out of which, an amount of Rs 1 crore (approx) which was subsequently seized by NIA from the lockers belonging to Swapna, which were opened on the directions of Sivasankar and was meant for Sivasankar," the ED submitted.

After hearing the submissions in the matter, the Principal Sessions Court in Kochi extended by one day the ED custody of Sivasankar. The court is slated to hear his bail plea tomorrow.

"Sivasankar has shared crucial information with Swapna relating to KFON and Life Mission Projects. There could be possible kickbacks received from certain private parties in these projects as Sivasankar did make a mention of the same to her in WhatsApp calls," the ED submitted.

"Sivasankar was in touch with Santhosh Eappan of the Unitach Builders and wanted him to be part of some contracts under KFON and Life Mission Projects. Swapna has also disclosed names of certain persons who were very close to Sivasankar, one of them was involved in Taurus Downtown Projects," it added.

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.

Meanwhile, the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau named Sivasankar as the fifth accused in the Wadakkanchery life mission scam case. (ANI)