I was single point of contact between UAE Consulate, Kerala Govt: Sivasankar to ED

Kochi (Kerala) [India], October 18 (ANI): M Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to Chief Minister has told the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that he was the single point of contact between UAE Consulate and Kerala government in connection with the gold smuggling case.

October 18, 2020

National

4 min

zeenews

Kochi (Kerala) [India], October 18 (ANI): M Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to Chief Minister has told the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that he was the single point of contact between UAE Consulate and Kerala government in connection with the gold smuggling case.
This statement was submitted in the Special Court by ED.
“I am not aware of the meeting mentioned by Swapna Suresh in 2017 where Chief Minister of Kerala had indicated to Consul General that I will be the single point of contact for matters related to UAE Consulate in Government. The actual fact is I was authorised by the CM of Kerala to act as the point of contact as early as in June/July 2016 itself,” Sivasankar told ED.
Sivasankar explained to ED about the relationship with the Kerala Gold Smuggling Case accused Swapna Suresh.
“I know Swapna as the Secretary to the Consul General since early 2017 when I first met her. Subsequently I became family friends with her and I know her husband, children and parents very well. I know Sarith (another accused in the case) as Swapna’s colleague and have met him on various occasions at Swapna’s house. I have also gone to his house twice and met his parents. I met Sandeep (another accused) only three to four times. All meetings with Sandeep were in the presence of Swapna, Sarith and Swapna’s family,” said Sivasankar.
Sivasankar further stated that he used to drop into their house for dinner initially once in a month from mid-2017. Later, he joined the family for dinner at their house more frequently.
“There was a short term project opening which was there in Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd. (KSITIL) for which I had asked her to submit her resume to M/s Price Waterhouse Coopers Pvt. Ltd. I had helped her financially at times,” he added.
In his statement to Customs Department in connection with the Kerala Gold Smuggling Case, Sivasankar explained about the diplomatic consignment came from UAE.
“On 1st July or so Swapna called me and informed me that some diplomatic consignment sent from UAE to the Consulate in Trivandrum was pending for clearance at Air Cargo Complex Trivandrum. She requested me to call the Assistant Commissioner, Air Cargo Complex to clear the cargo. She also told me that she had called the Boss of the AC, Air Cargo Complex in Cochin, but he told her that he was on leave,” said Sivasankar.
“She also told me that the diplomats at the Consulate was in the business of bringing in cosmetics and other items in diplomatic cargo and selling it in Beemapalli. She also told me that the consulate staff used to call such illegal business there by a code word ‘consul is eating mangoes’. But I denied to call the Assistant Commissioner and told her that Customs would clear the cargo as per the procedure,” he added. (ANI)

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