Published On: Sat, Aug 15th, 2020

Pinarayi Vijayan’s former principal secretary appears before ED

Kochi: After expressing his inability to appear before the Enforcement Directorate officials, former principal secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan – M Sivasankar – changed his mind and presented himself before the officials at the ED office here on Saturday.

The IAS officer was subsequently removed from both the posts and then suspended by Vijayan

This is the second time that the ED officials are questioning Sivasankar, once the most powerful official in the state by virtue of the post he held.

The ED officials were adamant that he should appear without fail.

They are planning to question him along with the three people arrested in the gold smuggling case.

The gold smuggling case was unearthed when PS Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here, was arrested by the customs department on July 5 when he was facilitating smuggling of 30 kg of gold in the diplomatic baggage to Thiruvananthapuram from Dubai.

It turned murkier when the name of Swapna Suresh, a former employee of the Consulate, and employed with the IT Department, surfaced and more so, when her links with Sivasankar, who held the dual posts of Principal Secretary to Vijayan and state IT Secretary, came out.

The IAS officer was subsequently removed from both the posts and then suspended by Vijayan.

At present, the ED has the custody of Sarith, Swapna and Sandip. Their custodial period ends on Monday and hence they were determined to get Sivasankar too for questioning.

The ED have found that Swapna possessed a huge amount of unaccounted cash and jewellery. They also informed the Economic Offences Court here that she wields considerable influence in the Chief Minister’s Office.

In the past Sivasankar was questioned by the National Investigation Agency for three days.

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