Kerala

Kerala gold smuggling case: ED attaches FDs, cash totalling ₹1.85 crore

The Delhi Zonal Office of the Enforcement Directorate. File (representational image)   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached fixed deposits along with the cash seized from bank lockers, totalling to ₹1.85 crore in the Kerala gold smuggling case.

The attachment made under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act includes ₹1 crore belonging to M. Sivasankar, the Indian Administrative Service official who was Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, the ED said.

Mr. Sivasankar was arrested by the ED on October 28 and he is currently in judicial custody. It has filed a charge sheet in the case.

NIA’s FIR

The ED is conducting a probe based on the National Investigation Agency’s FIR against Sarith P S, Swapna Prabha Suresh, Faisal Fareed and Sandeep Nair under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The smuggling racket was busted after the the Customs Commissionerate (Preventive), Cochin, seized 30 of gold worth ₹14.82 crore at the Trivandrum International Airport on July 5.

The seized gold was camouflaged as diplomatic baggage addressed to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) consulate, which has immunity from security check at airports under the Vienna Convention.

The ED said the consignment was to be received by Sarith P S, who had worked in the consulate as Public Relations Officer, in complicity with Swapna Suresh and others.

In its additional complaint filed before the Principal Sessions Judge, Ernakulam, the agency said the accused also concealed the ill-gotten money and attempted to project the movable assets gained through it as untainted.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 1:21:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-gold-smuggling-case-ed-attaches-185-cr-worth-fixed-deposits-gold/article33410853.ece

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