Kerala gold smuggling case: Customs records Sivasankar's arrest, to seek his custody for 7 days
In the wake of Sivasankar's arrest by the Customs, the National Investigation Agency probing terror financing behind the gold smuggling incident will also conduct an investigation into his role
KOCHI: The Customs, which is probing the Kerala gold smuggling scandal, on Tuesday recorded the arrest of former Principal Secretary M Sivasankar at Kakkanad District Jail where the suspended IAS officer was remanded in judicial custody after being arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for his involvement in the gold smuggling case.
The Customs team comprising three officials visited the Kakkanad jail at around 11 am and recorded his arrest. "From the statement given by prime accused Swapna Suresh, it is clear that the former bureaucrat was also involved in the smuggling of gold via the diplomatic channel. He was well aware of the gold smuggling incident and we suspect he facilitated other accused persons in carrying out the illegal activity. Sivasankar in his statement given under section 108 of the Customs Act denied his role. However, investigation in this regard is on," the Customs official said.
The Customs will approach the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) court seeking the custody of Sivasankar soon. Officials said they are planning to seek his custody for seven days. "Only during custodial interrogation can we receive more information about his role in the gold smuggling incident. There are also clarifications required in connection with WhatsApp chats between Sivasankar and Swapna," a Customs official said.
The ED in its investigation found that Sivasankar was the mastermind behind the gold smuggling incident. Similarly, Rs 64 lakh found from a bank locker of Swapna was claimed to be money received by Sivasankar as a kickback for various government projects.
In the wake of Sivasankar's arrest by the Customs, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing terror financing behind the gold smuggling incident will also conduct an investigation into his role.