The Customs department has accused Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s former principal secretary M Sivasankar of being the mastermind behind the gold smuggling scam. Closely following the arguments of the Enforcement Directorate in their 1,000-page charge sheet, the Customs has claimed that Sivasankar used his relationship with the CM to aid the smugglers. The department made the claims in their affidavit against Sivasankar’s bail plea.
The Customs claimed that Sivasankar knew about the illegal activities based out of the UAE consulate and that strong pieces of evidence were pointing to the direction. As a senior officer, he was bound to report the activities but chose not to do so, claims the affidavit. He had misused his authority as the principal secretary to the Chief Minister as well as his influence within the CM office to aid the smugglers, the affidavit says.
They also added that the suspended IAS officer has not been cooperating with the investigation. However, Sivasankar filed the bail plea citing deteriorating health and doubts of cancer.
Meanwhile, the National Investigation Agency is moving forward with its investigation of the gold smuggling scam and has reached the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram to probe the CCTV visuals. They want to know if and how many times have gold smuggling accused such as Sarith and Swapna Suresh have reached the Secretariat. They had requested the public administration wing to provide visuals from June 1, 2019, to July 10, 2020. However, the department cited technical difficulties in handing over the visuals of 83 cameras over a year. They added that the NIA could come and investigate the visuals.