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IAS officer arrested – Who’s next as ED, Customs to go in for the kill

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Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 29, 2020 –

While the game is over for Kerala’s most powerful IAS officer M.Sivasankar whose arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been recorded, all eyes are on which direction would the probe agencies be now looking and indications are that it could well reach the office of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

While Vijayan ever since his trusted Secretary Sivasankar was first removed from the post and later suspended has been time and again washing his hands off the crime of Sivasankar and his stock statement has been, “I do not know anything and none from my office has called the Customs. This has been confirmed by the Customs themselves,”.

However Vijayan’s stock statement appears to have fallen flat as the arrest memo of the ED reveals Sivasankar had called the Customs to see if the baggage of the UAE Consulate can be given without the mandatory check up.

The Customs had arrested P.S. Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here, on July 5 for allegedly smuggling gold in a diplomatic baggage destined for the Consulate. Another former Consulate staff Swapna Suresh and her associate Sandip Nair were arrested by the National Investigation Agency from Bengaluru.

Vijayan removed Sivasankar as his Principal Secretary and then as IT Secretary after it allegedly surfaced that Swapna and Sivasankar were close friends.

And since then till last night Sivasankar was questioned by the Customs, ED and the NIA and all through he said he had no clue of Swapna’s smuggling links.

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But after over 100 hours of questioning and with the Kerala High Court on Wednesday rejecting his anticipatory bail plea, the ED took him away and one by one his detailed links with evidences has started coming out on the role of his, which was totally opposite to what he had so far claimed.

While the Congress and the BJP have increased their demands of asking Vijayan to quit, he has not opened his mouth and has ducked the routine Covid press briefing.

Meanwhile, indications are that the probe agencies very soon is expected to list out 2 more names from Vijayan’s office and is likely to be called in for questioning.

Incidentally, this gold smuggling case is also linked to the Life Mission project (the pet project of Vijayan where homes are built for the homeless using sponsorship money) and even though the CBI had commenced probe, the government has managed to get a partial stay in that probe, but the CBI has started its move to get it vacated.

The links of both Sivasankar and Swapna Suresh has also surfaced that a fat sum of Rs 9 crore of the total Rs 20 crore project cost has been paid as commission.

So all in all, the coming days is going to be crucial not just for Vijayan, but for the CPI-M who by now has been trying their best to blame Sivasankar and give a clean chit to Vijayan.  (Agency)

M Sivasankar IAS Swapna Suresh

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