VACB to probe all bank transactions of ex-Minister Sivakumar

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, KERALA, 18/09/2015: FOR FILE)--Minister for Health V.S. Sivakumar.
Photo: S. Gopakumar

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, KERALA, 18/09/2015: FOR FILE)--Minister for Health V.S. Sivakumar. Photo: S. Gopakumar   | Photo Credit: S_GOPAKUMAR

It claims to have evidence about his benami dealings

After a 13-hour raid on his residence here on Wednesday, the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) on Friday appeared to indicate that it was yet to get to the bottom of the politically sensitive ‘illegal amassment’ of wealth case against former Health Minister and Congress legislator V.S. Sivakumar.

Officials privy to the investigation hinted that the agency would issue notices to banks where Mr Sivakumar or those close to him allegedly held lockers or had transacted business. The agency indicted three other persons, including Mr. Sivakumar's personal chauffeur, on the charge of having channelled the politician's ‘illicitly earned’ wealth into purchasing prime real estate in their name. They also included a lawyer, who Mr. Sivakumar said he barely knew. However, the officials indicated that the investigators appeared to have mobile phone call data records that proved otherwise.

Investigators enumerated the cash and gold in Mr. Sivakumar's house and copied documents they reckoned were relevant to their case. The agency had simultaneously raided the residences of the other three persons named as accused along with Mr. Sivakumar. It was cagey about the outcome of the raid and whether the inspections had yielded any incriminating evidence.

ED being roped in

However, an official said the VACB would pass on its findings to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which had sought ‘third party information’, if any, to find out whether there was a money laundering angle to the anti-corruption probe. The agency had done the same in the disproportionate assets case against former Excise Minister K. Babu. The ED had also evinced interest in the corruption case against former Public Works Minister V. K. Ebrahim Kunju.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sivakumar termed the raid as a blessing in disguise. He said the agency was now convinced about his many financial liabilities. He had nothing to hide.

‘To divert attention’

Mr. Sivakumar reiterated his allegation that the government had unleashed the VACB against him to divert public attention away from the high-level police corruption flagged by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 3:26:20 PM |

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