The Customs department has registered the arrest of M Sivasankar, former principal secretary to Kerala Chief Minister, who is currently in Ernakulam district jail in Kakkanad. Customs officials reached the sub jail and registered the arrest on Tuesday morning. Sivasankar was arrested by Enforcement Directorate earlier and was remanded by court. ED was investigating the money trail involved in the gold smuggling case.
The Customs recorded his arrest in the same gold smuggling case, however, the department is looking at the aspect of the smuggling through a diplomatic case at the Thiruvananthapuram airport. On Monday, a special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases in Kochi granted permission to the Customs Department to arrest Sivasankar.
Customs had pleaded for permission to arrest him in the court claiming that they have evidence to prove that he was involved in the smuggling case. The agency said that custodial interrogation was necessary for the process of investigation. Customs has categorized him as a suspected accused in the gold smuggling case.
It was on July 5 that customs officials seized 30 kg smuggled gold brought in as diplomatic baggage to the UAE (United Arab Emirates) consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, through the international airport.
On October 29 ED officials arrested Sivasankar from an Ayurveda hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. ED has claimed that Sivasankar has close connections with the prime accused in the gold smuggling case. The agency claimed that Sivasankar was well aware about the gold smuggling and he helped Swapna Suresh the prime accused in the case.The suspended officer had asked his chartered accountant Venugopal Iyer to open a joint bank locker with Swapna, who was working with the Consulate earlier.
Rejecting the anticipatory bail plea of Sivasankar, Kerala High Court has said that Sivasankar might be involved in money laundering. Court said that there are indications that Sivasankar has interfered in management of Swapna's finances.