IAS officer didn’t get bail from the gold smuggling case

    The Cochin Court denied the bail to the suspended IAS officer M. Sivashankar. In the Enforcement Directorate (ED) case related to the money laundering charges in the Kerala gold smuggling racket.

    The special court dealing with Prevention of Money Laundering Act case (PMLA) here rejected the plea moved by the former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister.

    The court had on November 12 posted the plea to Tuesday for orders after hearing arguments of the prosecution and the defence in detail.

    The officer, arrested by the ED on October 28 in connection with the ‘money laundering’ aspect in the gold smuggling case, is now lodged in a jail here after the court remanded him to judicial custody till 26 November.

    Sivasankar had submitted an argument note in the court alleging that he was put as an accused as he had refused to name a few political targets of the ED’s choice.

    But the ED claimed that in favouring the wishes of Sapna Suresh, the co- accused in this case, he spoke to a senior customs officer and made a request to clear cargo addressed to UAE consulates.

    The ED further states that Suresh has accepted that Shivshankar and his team in CMO was fully aware of smuggling these precious metals through the diplomatic channel.

    The ED has also alleged that Sivasankar had intervened to get the diplomatic baggage containing smuggled gold cleared without examination by the Customs.

    There are three agencies which are conducting the individual and separate investigations. And these are National Investigation Agency (NIA), ED and the customs about a racket and seizes the golf worth rupees 15 crore from the diplomatic baggage of the UAE Consulate at the thiruvananthapuram at airport on 5 July.