Gold smuggling case: Court grants Customs 7 days additional custody of M Sivasankar

A local court in Kochi, Kerala, granted Customs seven days additional custody of suspended IAS officer M Sivasankar on Tuesday. The IAS officer was arrested by the central agency in connection with the gold smuggling case.

The Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) court considered the Customs plea, a day after Sivasankar”s five day custody ended. In its plea, the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate on Monday claimed that key accused Swapna Suresh, during her custodial interrogation, has made revelations implicating Sivasankar in the currency smuggling case with strong links in the gold smuggling case, as reported by news agency PTI.

The court had posted the application seeking extension of custody of Sivasankar for Tuesday.

According to a report by PTI, more investigation was required on two mobile phones used by the suspended officer.

It said that during the course of the custodial interrogation of Sivasankar, he was using only one mobile phone, which he had declared before the probing agencies. However, the investigation revealed that he was using two more cellphones, which he did not divulge before the agencies, according to the Customs.

On November 24, the agency had arrested Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to the Kerala Chief Minister in connection with the gold smuggling case.

According to the latest development, the Customs has so far arrested around 15 people, including Swapna Suresh, Sarith PS and Sandeep Nair, over the seizure of 30 kg gold from a diplomatic baggage of the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5, PTI had reported earlier.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), the ED and the Customs are conducting separate investigations into the racket that was busted with the seizure of gold. The IAS officer was suspended after his links to Suresh, a former employee of the consulate, surfaced.

(With PTI inputs)

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