Kerala Gold Smuggling Scam: Finger of suspicion points to CMO; CM's former Principal Secretary Sivasankar grilled by NIA for over ten hours

    29-Jul-2020   
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National Investigation Agency (NIA) questioned Kerala Chief Minister's former Principal Secretary M Sivasankar for the second day yesterday in the gold smuggling case. He was quizzed by the NIA at its Kochi office.
 
The interrogation which began in the morning, continued for about 10 and a half hours. He is being interrogated for his links with the second accused Swapna Suresh and first accused Sarith PS.
 
Sivasankar was interrogated for over 9 hours on Monday also. According to the reports, he did not give clear answers to questions on Monday. This is the third time in the past week that NIA grilled Sivasankar.
 
From the findings and shocking revelations pertaining to the case, it appears that the integrity of the CM’s office is now at stake. As Sivsankar was very close to the Chief Minister, the latest reports raise many questions over the involvement of the CMO in the case. NIA had already sought the CCTV footage from the secretariat as part of investigation towards that direction.
 
On being asked about NIA’s proceedings, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said during a press meet: "I have told about this earlier. Some people are interested only in this matter. NIA is probing the case properly, as part of it they can reach anywhere. Let them travel in their path. I have reacted about all this earlier and there is no need to repeat it."
 
Meanwhile, two accused Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair were sent to five-day custody of the Customs Department on Tuesday. At the same time, the court also issued non-bailable warrants against two other accused in the case- Faisal Fareed and Rabins Hameed- on the request of the Commissionerate of Customs (Preventive).
 
As National Investigation Agency (NIA) switched probe into possible terror funding angle in the case, the Kerala Gold Smuggling scam has thrust the office of Kerala Chief Minister Vijayan into a political firestorm once again after the controversial Sprinklr scam.