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Homechevron_rightKeralachevron_rightM. Sivasankar appears...

M. Sivasankar appears before Customs officials


M. Sivasankar


Thiruvananthapuram: M. Sivasankar, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's secretary and IT secretary who was removed, here on Tuesday, presented himself before the top Customs and Central Excise officials.

A three-member Customs officials team had gone to Sivasankar's house in the afternoon to serve a notice upon him. Sivasankar, present at the house, said he was ready to appear before the officials during the day itself.

Swapna Suresh, a former employee of the UAE Consulate, here, is among the four booked by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for allegedly facilitating smuggling of 30 kg gold in the diplomatic baggage to Thiruvananthapuram from Dubai on July 5.

Sivasankar, a senior IAS officer, ran into trouble after his alleged links with Swapna surfaced. She was on the run after the arrest of her friend and former colleague P.S. Sarith by the Customs.

Later, it was revealed that Swapna and Sivasankar were close and had attended several Kerala government events.

According to Swapna's call records, which are in possession of the media, she was in touch with Sivasankar and Kerala Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel.

Reacting to this, Jaleel said he always believed she was secretary at the UAE Consulate General and the calls made was never in untimely hours.

"I received a message from the UAE Counsel General on May 27 to discuss handing over of Ramadan kits. He said Swapna would get in touch for further discussion.

"Now that the NIA is probing the case, my doors are open for them. If any staff member of mine had any contact with her, it's their responsibility. I am not responsible for that," said Jaleel.

The NIA arrested Swapna and Sandeep Nair from Bengaluru on Saturday for alleged role in the Kerala gold smuggling case.

On Sunday, the NIA brought them by road on a transit remand and presented them at an NIA court in Kochi, which remanded them to the custody.

The NIA had taken over the case on Friday and filed a FIR against the accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

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