Kerala Gold Smuggling Scam: Noose tightening around Chief Minister Vijayan? NIA questions former principal secretary to CM, demands CCTV footage from secretariat

    23-Jul-2020   
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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) interrogated former principal secretary to chief minister and former state IT secretary M Sivasankar in connection with the gold smuggling scam. He was questioned at Peroorkada Police Club.
 
Earlier, the Customs had also questioned Sivasankar for about nine hours. According to sources, Sivasankar has made crucial revelations to the investigation team, regarding the case in today’s interrogation.This is for the first time, a senior IAS offcial is interrogated by NIA.
 
The NIA has also demanded access to CCTV visuals from the secretariat. On Thursday, an NIA official called on the house-keeping additional secretary P Honey at public administration department in the secretariat and officially sought the CCTV visuals for the inquiry. The house-keeping additional secretary informed that access to CCTV visuals will be given to NIA after seeking permission from chief secretary.
 
There are allegations that the Government is trying to tamper with evidence in the case, including the CCTV footage. Kerala opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on Wednesday had alleged that the state government is trying to destroy evidence in the case by changing CCTV cameras in the secretariat.
 
"It is very unfortunate that the state government is trying to destroy all the evidence related to gold smuggling case by changing CCTV cameras in the secretariat on the pretext that lightning and thunder occurred. We never heard any thunder or lightning recently. I really suspect there is an effort to destroy all the evidence. The Chief Secretary is also involved in that," Chennithala said. "It is not acceptable. We are requesting the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to secure the evidence and proceed with the investigation," he said.