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Customs allege serious protocol breach in meet between Kerala CM, Consul General

Customs allege serious protocol breach in meet between Kerala CM, Consul General

Thiruvananthapuram: In recent developments on the probe into the infamous gold smuggling case in Kerala, the Customs has alleged serious breach of protocols in meetings of the UAE Consul General and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

In another reference, reports suggest that their investigations have unearthed illegal dealings of some state ministers with the UAE Consulate, as per the show cause notice to three top former UAE officials working at the UAE Consulate, including the Consul General, the Attache, and the Chief Accountant.

According to the Customs, there were serious breach of protocols in meetings organised by the Consul General through gold smuggling prime accused Swapna Suresh, and suspended IAS officer and former top Vijayan aide, M. Sivasankar, with Vijayan at the residences of both.

The note of the Customs claim that incidentally such meetings had bypassed the state protocols and also the Ministry of External Affairs.

According to sources, the Customs is getting ready to file its complete charge sheet in the gold smuggling case shortly and the show cause notices are part of it.

Soon after the gold smuggling case broke out, the three top officials in the UAE Consulate, now in the dock, had left the country.

Meanwhile, The Customs department has issued show-cause notices on Sunday, June 20 to 53 people including prime accused Swapna Suresh, suspended IAS officer M Sivasankar and two former diplomats in the UAE consulate, Thiruvananthapuram, as per official sources. The notices asking why action under Customs Act should not be taken against them in the smuggling cases were issued by Customs (Preventive) Commissioner Sumit Kumar on June 16.

The gold smuggling case surfaced on July 5 last year, with the arrest of P.R. Sarith, a former UAE Consulate staffer, and then came the arrest of another former staffer, Swapna Suresh, who afterwards worked in the Kerala IT Department's Space Park.

Things went bad for Vijayan, when the Enforcement Directorate arrested Sivasankar, who is now out of bail after few months in jail.

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TAGS:Kerala chief ministerKerala gold smuggling case
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