‘Why no evidence against Sivasankar so far?’: Court asks Customs in gold smuggling case

Meanwhile, the special court in Kochi sent M Sivasankar, Swapna Suresh and PS Saritha to five-day Customs custody on Wednesday.
Sivasankar IAS
Sivasankar IAS
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A special court in Kochi on Wednesday pulled up the Customs Department, asking what evidence it has found so far against suspended IAS officer M Sivasankar, after questioning him for so many days. The Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court (Economic Offences) made the remark while considering the Customs department’s plea for Sivasankar’s custody. The senior bureaucrat, who was arrested in the gold smuggling case, was sent to five-day custody of the Customs on Wednesday. The Customs had recorded his arrest on Tuesday.

Sivasankar was already arrested by the Enforcement Directorate last month for his alleged links with Swapna Suresh, a key accused in the case. Prior to the arrest, both the Customs and National Investigation Agency (NIA) had interrogated Sivasankar for multiple days.

“Despite interrogating Sivasankar over the past four months, why has no evidence been found against him yet? It is not explained how Sivasankar facilitated the smuggling,” the court said on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Customs informed the court that he was arrested based on Swapna Suresh’s statements.

The Customs officials also received flak for not specifying the former designations held by Sivasankar in its plea filed in court. He was the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister as well as the Secretary of the IT Department until he was suspended after the controversy surfaced. “No documents reveal the top posts of Sivasankar. The investigating officer is answerable. Is the Customs afraid of Sivasnkar?” the court asked.

Meanwhile, the court also sent Swapna Suresh and another key accused, Sarith PS, to five-day custody of Customs.

The National Investigation Agency, Customs and Enforcement Directorate are conducting separate probes in the gold smuggling case. It was on July 5 that 30 kg gold was seized from a diplomatic consignment meant for the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram. Following this, it surfaced that a racket had been smuggling gold into the state for the last one year.

Read full details about the gold smuggling case here:

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