KOCHI: The chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the case related to the money trail behind the gold smuggling through the diplomatic channel has also put the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram in the dock as it reveals commission deals made by diplomats.
In her statement on the LIFE Mission project funded by the UAE Red Crescent, key accused Swapna Suresh told ED that the consul-general himself had got commission.
In the tenth paragraph of the chargesheet, ED quoted Swapna as saying that three million dirhams was decided as commission for the Wadakkanchery project which was to be shared between the UAE consul-general, Egyptian national Khalid, who was an employee of the consulate, and herself.
“The commission of Rs 1.08 crore was given to her for facilitating awarding of the contract to Unitac Builders and Sane Ventures LLC for the construction of the housing project under the LIFE Mission; that it was decided that three million dirhams would go to the consul-general, Khalid and herself and, from the rest of the amount, six per cent would be shared between Sandeep Nair, Sarith P S and herself,” the chargesheet submitted at the Special Court for Prevention of Money-Laundering Act (PMLA) cases.
Santhosh Eapen and Vinod P V, directors of Unitac Builders and its sister company Sane Ventures, which were awarded the contract for constructing 140 apartments and a hospital at Wadakkanchery under LIFE Mission, also validated Swapna’s statement.
Eapen gave a statement to ED that he along with Vinod met Swapna and Khalid. Khalid demanded 20 per cent of the project cost as commission.
Similarly, Vinod, in his statement given to ED, stated that Rs 5.25 crore was transferred to a bank account in Vytilla and another Rs 2.25 crore to another bank account after signing the agreement for the project.
Around Rs 3.80 crore was withdrawn from the two accounts and a part of it was converted into US dollars and handed over to Khalid in Thiruvananthapuram.
Similarly, Rs 25.20 lakh was transferred to ISOMONK Trading Company account owned by Sandeep in August 2019, Rs 27.24 lakh in November 2019 and Rs 7.05 lakh in January 2020.
The UAE Red Crescent had announced around 12-million-dirham (Rs 21-crore) aid for the LIFE Mission project in Wadakkanchery.
Of this, around 10 million dirhams was transferred to Unitac Builders and its sister company Sane Ventures.
Other than the LIFE Mission project, Swapna admitted that she had received commission for various other deals involving the UAE.