Customs arrest Sivasankar in gold smuggling case

Customs officials reached the district prison at Kakkanad today morning to formally record the arrest
M Sivasankar
M Sivasankar

M Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, was formally arrested by the Customs in connection with the diplomatic channel gold smuggling case.

Sivasankar, who is in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate following a case booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, was housed at the district prison at Kakkanad. Customs officials reached the jail today morning to formally record the arrest.

Yesterday, the Ernakulam Sessions Court granted permission to the Customs to arrest Sivasankar. In their plea, submitted before the Court, the Customs said that during their investigation they have “now been able to get direct incriminating material against Sivasankar of his involvement in the smuggling of gold illegally,” which is an offence under the Customs Act. “It has, therefore, become necessary to subject him to custodial interrogation after arresting him. This is highly necessary for the smooth progress of the investigation,” the plea added.

While they had questioned the suspended IAS officer before, the Customs officials had only considered him as a suspected accused. This arrest of Sivasankar is close on the heels of their interrogation of Swapna Suresh on November 18. Reportedly, Customs decided to arraign Sivasankar based on the statement of Swapna, who is the key accused, about his involvement in the gold smuggling.

The officials will visit Sivasankar at Kakkanad District Jail to record his arrest on Monday evening or Tuesday. Later, they will file a petition seeking his custody this week itself. Earlier, the court rejected Sivasankar’s bail plea in connection with this case. On October 28, Sivasankar was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the gold smuggling case.

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate has issued notice to attach ‘Kodiyeri’ house in Thiruvananthapuram, owned by Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh Kodiyeri, in connection with the Bengaluru drug case. The Bengaluru ED Deputy Director has issued orders to attach the properties of Bineesh, his wife Reneeta Bineesh, Anoop Mohammed and other entities, including B Capital Group, to the state registration department. The properties of these individuals will be attached under the sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Bineesh Kodiyeri is currently in Bengaluru jail after he was arrested last month.

The NationWide