Customs arrests Unitac MD Santhosh Eapen in dollar smuggling case; he gets out on bail in few hours

Meanwhile, Customs and the Enforcement Directorate have entered a small legal tug of war over the confidential statements of Swapna Suresh and P Sarith as recoded by the Customs officials
Customs arrests Unitac MD Santhosh Eapen in dollar smuggling case; he gets out on bail in few hours
Santhosh Eapen

The Customs Department has recorded the arrest of the owner of Unitac Builders, Santhosh Eapen — who had signed a contract for the construction of the Life Mission project — in the Dollar smuggling case. However, the latest reports indicate that Eapen has received bail from the trial court under conditions, and interestingly, the Customs did not oppose the move.

The agency had officially recorded his arrest after summoning him for interrogation at the Kochi office. He was the fifth accused in the Life Mission case, and the Customs officials found that Eapen had paid a huge amount of commission to the other accused in dollars to obtain the contract for the Life Mission project.

Meanwhile, Customs and the Enforcement Directorate has entered a small legal tug of war over the confidential statements of Swapna Suresh and P Sarith as recoded by the Customs officials. The latter informed a Kerala Court that the confidential statements of the accused mentioning the names of top leaders in the gold smuggling case should not be given to the ED. The Directorate had filed a petition seeking a copy of these confidential statements.

According to Customs, sharing confidential statements with the ED will “affect the investigation”. The former even requested the Court not to share the statement before filing the charge sheet. The ED’s petition was scheduled for hearing next month by the Additional CJM court.

Besides, today, the court will hear the bail pleas filed by Swapna Suresh and Sarith, the accused in the gold smuggling case. The bail application states that there is no evidence supporting the offences charged against them under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in the charge sheet.

In the case registered by the Customs, Ernakulam additional CJM court had earlier granted bail to both the accused. The Court granted them bail after the officials failed to file a charge sheet in the case even after 60 days. On the other hand, the petition filed by the eight accused in the case, challenging the UAPA charges filed against them, has been shifted to the High Court.

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