Dollar Smuggling: ED to continue quizzing Santhosh Eapen


Kochi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has intensified probe into dollar smuggling which came to light with the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case. The ED officials have been interrogating the first accused Santhosh Eapen in the case. Soon, others who are linked with the case, will be quizzed.

Santhosh Eapen had revealed that Rs 3.80 cr out of Rs 7.75 cr received from UAE Red Crescent for the Life Mission Housing Project in Thrissur's Wadakanchery was distributed as commission to various officials. In his statement to the probe team, he disclosed that he had exchanged Indian money as dollar with the help of some bank officials and directly handed it over to Khalid Showkri, a former accountant in Thiruvananthapuram UAE consulate. He told the ED officials that he had given the dollar to the consulate official as directed by the gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh, PS Sarith and Sandeep Nair.

Meanwhile, Swapna Suresh in her statement to ED confirmed that Rs 6 cr was given as commission. With this, it was clarified that apart from Rs 3.80 cr given to Khalid, more money was swindled. Following this, ED decided to register a case into dollar smuggling.

The Enforcement Directorate team raised suspicion that Santhosh Eapen had given over Rs 2 cr to consulate general Jamal Hussain Al Sabi. The probe team assumed that Eapen had given a false statement on the commission amount to CBI and customs.

The ED team has initiated a probe into these financial transactions. It is hinted that ED will question Swapna Suresh, Sandeep Nair, PS Sarith and Youth affairs department principal secretary M Sivasankar in the coming days.

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