The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday served notice to CM Raveendran, the additional private secretary of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asking him to appear before the investigating agency in connection to the Kerala gold smuggling case. The notice has been issued asking him to reach the Kochi office on Friday.The additional private secretary was summoned over his role in several IT projects undertaken by the government, reported Times of India. The notice was issued based on statements given to the ED by M Sivasankar, the former Chief Secretary to the Kerala Chief Minister.
Apart from the gold smuggling case, the ED is also investigating four major IT projects of the Kerala government - the Kerala Fiber Optic Network, e-mobility project, Technopark phase 3 and the Smart City project in Kochi. The newspaper also quoted sources as saying that in August, key accused Swapna Suresh told the ED that Raveendran used to call her for visa stamping and attestation of certificates.
Raveendran has been serving as a close aide to several CPI(M) leaders over the years during LDFâ€™s term. He had earlier served as ministerial staff in the LDFs government led by VS Achuthanandan. He had at the time worked closely with M Sivasankar, then working as Tourism Director. Raveendran was appointed Additional Private Secretary in 2016 despite not having the educational qualifications needed for personal staff as mandated by the CPI(M) state committee.
On Wednesday, the ED also raided the office of a private construction firm in Hyderabad, based on information collected from Sivasankar. The firm was awarded construction contracts under Life Mission across seven districts in Kerala. It is being suspected that the details of Life Mission Projects were shared by Sivasankar with Swapna. ED in the meantime has sought an extension of Sivakumar's custody. He will be produced before the special court for prevention of Money Laundering Act cases on Thursday.
The judicial custody period for both Sandeep Nair and Sarith Ps has also been extended to November 13.