Kerala Gold Smuggling Scam: Accused reveals ‘Telegram Group’ for gold smuggling racket named ‘CPM Committee’

    19-Oct-2020   
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In a major revelation, Sarith, an accused in the gold smuggling case, told the Enforcement Directorate that the group formed on Telegram for the purpose of gold smuggling was named ‘CPM Committee’. The revelation has put the CPM in a fix as it raises more questions about the party's role in the gold smuggling scam. The involvement of the office of the chief minister and CPM top-brass in the case had already come to the fore.  
 
According to his statement, the group was created by Sandeep, another main accused in the case. Later, Sarith and Swapna Suresh were added to the group.
 
Sarith also revealed to the agency that he had no direct contact with Faizal Fareed, a key accused in the case.
 
A few days ago, one of the accused Swapna Suresh had told the ED that she had met Kerala Chief Minister Vijayan several times and all those meetings took place at the CM’s official residence. During such a meeting in 2017, attended by the CM, UAE Consul General and his then secretary Swapna Suresh, Pinaray said that thereafter his Principal Secretary M. Sivasankar IAS would be the interface between UAE Consulate and the Government of Kerala. And, Sivasankar started to call her regularly in connection with the UAE Consulate-related affairs. Swapna also started to call him for the same matters.
 
Meanwhile, M Sivasankar, former principal secretary of the Chief Minister, has filed an anticipatory bail plea in view of arrest in the Life Mission case, another scam which was unearthed during the investigation into the gold smuggling case. The Kerala High Court will consider the plea today. Sivasankar had revealed to the Customs and ED that the Life Mission housing project in Wadakkanchery was his idea and there were no minutes for hi meeting with the UAE Consulate.
 
In another major embarrassment for the ruling CPM and CM Vijayan, National Investigation Agency had questioned LDF minister KT Jaleel in the gold smuggling scam. Left Councillor Karat Faisal was taken into custody by the Customs officials in the same case and he was grilled by the officials for several hours. Faizal was allegedly involved in investing and selling gold smuggled through international airports in the State. The central agencies had also interrogated Bineesh, son of CPM state secretary Balakrishnan, in connection with the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling and the recent Bengaluru drugs cases.