THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Hardly a week after the seizure of gold at the Thiruvananthapuram airport, the probe into the smuggling case has reached the flat taken on rent by Chief Minister’s former principal secretary and IT secretary M Sivasankar. The Customs raided the flat near the Secretariat on Friday — the inspection lasting around one-and-a-half hours — after Sarith P S told investigators that he and Swapna Suresh used to discuss gold deals there.
The sleuths seized the visitors’ register of the complex and CCTV footage to verify whether the suspects had visited the flat.On Saturday, officers questioned the caretaker and security guards and seized the register containing the details of persons staying there. They checked the registers and other details for more than six hours.
Meanwhile, Sivasankar told reporters that he welcomes any probe. “Let the probe go on. I can’t say anything more at this moment,” he said.The customs also raided the house of Sandeep Nair at Pathmakallu near Nedumangad late Saturday.
Raid at Sandeep’s residence
Sivasankar had been staying at flat number F6 in ‘Heather Towers’ on Punnen Road near the Cantonment Gate of the Secretariat for the past three years. Security guards told sleuths that they had seen Sivasankar last Monday while coming to the flat. Meanwhile, Sivasankar told reporters on Saturday that he welcomes any probe. “Let the probe go on. I can’t say anything more at this moment,” he said. Sources said the flat was misused by Swapna and Sarith, two key accused in the case, taking advantage of their connection with Sivasankar.
The suspects also used this flat for discussing alleged murky deals related to gold smuggling, the sources said. Meanwhile, five Yuva Morcha workers staged a protest in front of the apartment and broke the front glass pane of the building. They were arrested by the Cantonment police.
The workers have been booked under Sections 147 and 148 (rioting) of the IPC and relevant sections of the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance 2020. The Customs sleuths have seized Sandeep’s luxury car and bags allegedly used for smuggling gold. The were reports the sleuths found gold bars from the bags. The raid lasted for more than five hours. The Customs Thiruvananthapuram unit has requested CISF protection at its office as the case has international dimensions.