ED initiates probe on suspected bribery deals in Life Mission projects

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M Sivasankar

Kochi: Enforcement Directorate has informed the High Court that bribery is suspected in all deals related to Life Mission project. ED revealed that a probe into bribery related to the project is on progress.

M Sivasankar received a bribe from Unitac company which tookwas awarded the contract to construct the flat complex in Wadakanchery under Life Mission project, revealed ED. ED special public prosecutor TA Unnikrishnan has revealed this matter in the High Court opposing the bail plea of Sivasankar.

Swapna Suresh, accused in gold smuggling case, also confirmed the bribery during the interrogation on November 10. Based on her statement, ED assumes bribe was given to officials in other projects too, under Life Mission.

Sivasankar disclosed the confidential information related to K-FON and Life Mission Housing Project to Swapna. He also handed over quotation of two companies related to Life Mission project to her. The WhatsApp chat history of the duo confirmed this fact. It is reported that they discussed the matter before opening the quotations in January 2020.

Two companies which mentioned in the WhatsApp chat between Swapna and Sivasankar have obtained the contract of 26 projects among the 36 projects under the Life Mission. These findings have made the tenders of Life Mission under scanner.

ED report also carried the statement of Life Mission CEO UV Jose in which he revealed that he met with Unitac owner Santhosh Eappen as directed by Sivasankar.

Because of this, ED assumes that officials might have received bribe for other projects under Life Mission like the housing project in Wadakancherry. ED pointed out that a probe was initiated on grounds of these facts.

As part of the probe, a raid was carried out in Hyderabad. ED officials are examining the documents including files from computer.

The ED also interrogated VIPs related to the company.

Swapna’s involvement in Kochi Smart City project

ED revealed that Swapna Suresh was also involved in Kochi Smart City project. Being the then principal secretary to CM and IT secretary, Sivasankar supervised the Kochi Smart City project.

Though the project was interrupted, government resumed its execution after Swapna’s intervention.

At the same time, Swapna revealed about some people who have close links with Sivasankar. In the explanation to the HC, ED stated that some of the people among them are involved in Downtown project.

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