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Gold smuggling case: Sivasankar appears before Customs

Kochi: Suspended IAS officer M Sivasankar on Friday appeared before the Customs, investigating the sensational Kerala gold smuggling case.

Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate probing the case had interrogated Sivasankar twice earlier after his alleged links with Swapna Suresh, prime accused in the gold smuggling, surfaced.

Central agencies, including National Investigating Agency, Customs and the Enforcement Directorate, are conducting separate inquiries into the seizure of gold worth nearly Rs 15 crore from a "diplomatic baggage" at Thiruvananthapuram International airport on July 5.

Several people, including two former employees of the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, Swapna Suresh and Sarith P S, have been arrested by the central agencies in connection with the case.

The Enforcement Directorate, probing the money trail in the smuggling case, has said a thorough investigation of Sivasankar is required in the gold smuggling case as he allegedly facilitated opening a locker for Swapna Suresh.

The locker with a nationalised bank was used by Suresh to keep the profits from the smuggling, the ED had said on Tuesday in an interim charge-sheet submitted in the Special Court for PMLA cases against three accused including Suresh, Sarith P S and Sandeep Nair.

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