Kerala

Sivasankar abetted gold smuggling: Customs

M. Sivasankar.  

Swapna Suresh, the second accused in the diplomatic channel gold smuggling case, has given a statement that M. Sivasankar, the former Principal Secretary to the Kerala Chief Minister, had abetted the gold smuggling activities and was “in the know of things,” claimed Cochin Customs.

The Customs revealed about the reported role of Sivasankar in the smuggling case in his remand report and custody application, which was filed before the Economic Offences Court, Ernakulam, on Tuesday.

It was after formally recording the arrest of Sivasankar at the district jail in the morning that the Customs officials approached the Economic Offence Court seeking his custody.

Swapna’s statement

The Customs recorded the statement of Swapna under Section 108 of the Customs Act. The statements thus made under the Section 108 would be treated as an evidence against those who made it and also against those who were referred to in it. Customs officials submitted that they had interrogated Swapna on November 18 at the Vanitha Jail, Attakkulangara, Thiruvananthapuram.

Swapna had also admitted before Enforcement Directorate that Sivasankar had used his influence in clearing the smuggled gold. Following the statement, Sivasankar was arrayed as an accused by the Enforcement Directorate and remanded into judicial custody, the Customs pointed out.

The Customs officials said they had obtained direct incriminating materials against “Sivasankar of his involvement and being concerned in smuggling of gold illegally which is an offence under the Customs Act, 1962.”

Non-bailable offence

As the value of the gold seized in the case exceeded ₹1 crore, the offence committed by Sivasankar was non-bailable one, they submitted.

The interrogation of Sivasankar was “required to acquire clarity as to the modus operandi and details of other accomplices behind this smuggling activity, without delay.” His custodial interrogation was essential for further progress of the investigation, it submitted.

The agency sought 10 days of departmental custody of the accused.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 7:30:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/sivasankar-abetted-gold-smuggling-customs/article33171961.ece

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