The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is investigating the smuggling of gold through diplomatic cargo to the UAE Consulate-General’s office in Thiruvananthapuram, told a special court on Wednesday that accused Swapna Suresh opened a bank locker jointly with a chartered accountant on the instruction of M Sivasankar, IAS officer and former principal secretary to the Chief Minister.
Seeking a 14-day extension in the judicial custody of accused P S Sarith, Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, the ED stated in the special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act cases in Kochi that “proceeds of crime was kept by Swapna Suresh, who is the second accused, in the bank locker jointly opened with a third person as per the instruction of Sivasankar”. “An in-depth investigation in this regard is to be conducted,’’ the agency said.
Rs 1 crore in cash and 980 gm of gold have been seized from the bank locker Swapna opened jointly with chartered accountant Venugopal Iyer. The ED special prosecutor T A Unnikrishnan submitted to the court that Venugopal had told the agency that he was not informed about the source of the cash and gold.
The ED is also looking into the alleged kickbacks received by Swapna Suresh in a housing project for the poor that is being constructed at Vadakkanchery in Thrissur with the financial support of Emirates Red Crescent.
The ED has seized documents related to an MoU signed between Red Crescent and Kerala government’s Life Mission for the Rs 20-crore project.
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