Updated: October 23, 2021 12:31:31 pm
In its criminal complaint in the Kerala gold smuggling case, the Customs department said on Friday that ex-principal secretary to the Kerala Chief Minister, M Sivasankar, told the smugglers to be careful as the state intelligence had information about their activity through the diplomatic channel of the UAE Consulate.
The complaint has been filed against 29 accused, including Sivasankar, at the economic offences court in Kochi as a part of initiating prosecution proceedings against them.
It added that Swapna Suresh, a key accused and a former employee of the UAE Consulate, had deposed regarding Sivasankar’s alleged warning to them.
Another accused, P S Sarith, was quoted as saying that Sivasankar told him that he could organise a job for him in some start-up in case he wanted to stop smuggling through the diplomatic channel.
The department said that Sivasankar, by the act of divulging the intelligence report to unscrupulous elements, was knowingly involved in misdeclaration and evasion of Customs duty. “By way of maintaining frequent interaction with a Foreign Mission…he has offered the unscrupulous elements an undue platform for misuse of diplomatic immunity. This is corroborated by the voluntary statement of other accused,” it said.
It said the senior IAS officer, under suspension since the racket was exposed last year, abetted smuggling of 136.828 kgs of gold valued at Rs 46,49,96,275, apart from 30.245 kgs of gold valued at Rs 14,82,00,010 which was seized by the Customs.
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