Gold smuggling case: Suspended IAS officer Sivasankar, grilled for 9 hours, returns from NIA office
Kochi: Suspended senior IAS officer M Sivasankar who appeared before the National Investigation Agency investigating the gold smuggling case, returned from the probe agency office here after 9 hours of grilling. This was the third time he was quizzed by the agency in connection with the sensational case.
He returned from the NIA office at around 8.15 pm. Though media persons repeated showered him with questions, he didn’t respond to any of them.
Swapna Suresh, a key accused in the case, was also reportedly brought to the NIA office here for interrogation.
This is the third time the officer appeared before the NIA after allegations of his link with Suresh in the case surfaced.
Earlier in July, Sivasankar was quizzed by the agency twice in connection with the case.
The Customs department had also questioned him earlier.
Action was taken against Sivasankar after allegations surfaced that he had links with Suresh, the key accused in the case related to the attempt to smuggle gold through diplomatic baggage using the name of an official in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.
The Customs seized the gold, weighing over 30 kg and valued at around Rs 15 crore on July 5.
The NIA, which has been entrusted with the probe into the case, has booked several people including Suresh, Sarith P S, Sandeep Nair and Faizal Fareed-- under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Suresh and Sarith are former employees of the UAE Consulate and allegedly used their past connections to smuggle gold using the diplomatic channel.
The Kochi court on Tuesday had allowed four days NIA custody of Suresh.
The NIA, which earlier once interrogated Suresh, had informed the court that further custodial interrogation of the accused would be required on the basis of the digital evidence to be obtained.
The agency had said the incriminating materials found in the digital devices are required to be confronted with the accused by taking them into further NIA custody.
(With inputs from PTI)