This is the third person connected with the Kerala government to be ousted from the post they held.

Arun Balachandran who is alleged to have helped gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh He is wearing a blue shirt and is standing in a dias addressing an audience
news Gold smuggling case Thursday, July 16, 2020 - 12:43

In another development related to the controversial gold smuggling case, one more person connected with Kerala government has been sacked from his respective post for alleged connections with the accused in the case. Arun Balachandran, who was the Kerala Chief Minister’s IT Fellow, was removed on Wednesday night.

Arun Balachandran has been accused of helping Swapna Suresh, a key accused person in the gold smuggling case, book an apartment. Sources in the investigation say that this apartment was most probably used to hatch the conspiracy related to the smuggling case.

Meanwhile, it has also been alleged that Arun booked the flat upon the directions of M Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and also the former Secretary of IT Department. Arun and three others were appointed as the CM’s IT fellows and were supposed to promote Kerala as an investment destination.

Details of a WhatsApp chat between Sivasankar and Arun Balachandran that has come out, shows messages Sivasankar allegedly sent to Arun stating the requirements for the accommodation.

The details of the chat aired by Asianet News, shows the message Sivasankar sent to Arun on May 27. In the message Sivasankar states that a two bedroom service apartment is needed for some people from 31st, (month not mentioned)  for a maximum of six days. The reason given was that these people were shifting from their house and needed a temporary arrangement.

Customs Department officials had also conducted a raid in the apartment called ‘Heather Eminent’, which Swapna, Sarith and others had used. The apartment is located near the Kerala Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram.

Sivasankar was himself removed from the posts he held after it was shown that he had close connections with accused persons in the case.

Two days back, details of calls made from the phone of first accused Sarith Kumar to Sivasankar, had come out.

Read: Sivasankar IAS questioned by Customs, records show Sarith allegedly called him

This is the third person connected with the Kerala government to be ousted from the posts held. Swapna Suresh, another key accused in the case, had been removed from a temporary post held in the Space Park, an initiative of the IT Department, following which Sivasankar was removed, and now Arun Balachandran.

Watch smuggled gold being seized: 

Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.