June 1, 2023

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IAS officer Sivasankar, his team were aware of gold smuggling, Swapna Suresh tells ED

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s former secretary M Sivasankar and his team of officials in the chief minister’s office were fully aware of the Kerala gold smuggling case, Swapna Suresh has told the ED.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), in an affidavit filed in court, has made serious accusations against IAS officer and former Principal Secretary to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan M Sivasankar. As per the affidavit, Swapna Suresh has stated that M Sivasankar and his team in CMO were fully aware of gold smuggling through the diplomatic channels.
Also, the ED has said that Swapna Suresh has admitted that former IAS officer Sivasankar had shared crucial information regarding the other government projects including KFON and Down Town with her.
Swapna Suresh’s statements were recorded on November 18, 2020. During which, she was shown certain WhatsApp messages exchanged between her and Sivasankar. She was then asked to explain the content of the WhatsApp messages.
In reply, she has categorically stated that:
Sivasankar and his team in the CMO were fully aware of the gold smuggling and other electronic items done through the diplomatic channels.
Sivasankar was also aware of the kickbacks given by M/s Unitac Builders to Swapna and her close associates including Khalid, CFO, UAE Consulate in lieu of facilitating the award of a contract from Red Crescent under the LIFE Mission Project.
Out of which, an amount of Rs 1 crore (approx) was subsequently seized by NIA from the lockers belonging to Swapna Suresh, which were opened on the directions of Sivasankar and was meant for Sivasankar.
Sivasankar has shared crucial information with Swapna Suresh relating to KFON and LIFE Mission projects. There could be possible kick-backs received from certain private parties in these projects as Sivasankar did make a mention the same to her in WhatsApp calls.
Sivasankar was in touch with Santhosh Eappan of M/s. Unitac Builders and wanted him to be part of some contracts under KFON and LIFE Mission projects.
Swapna Suresh has also disclosed the names of certain persons who were very close to Sivasankar; one of them was involved in Taurus Downtown projects.
The affidavit filed in Ernakulam Principal Sessions Court also says that Sivasankar knew all the main accused in Thiruvananthapuram Gold Smuggling case. “It is no coincidence that Sivasankar knows all the main accused of gold smuggling, Sarith, Sandeep, and Swapna Suresh. Sivasankar has also acknowledged this fact,” it said.
Sivasankar also knew Kahlid, Finance Head of UAE Consulate, who was a major beneficiary of kickbacks received from Unitac Builders. The court has extended the ED custody of M Sivasankar by one more day.

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