Economy

Kerala gold case: NIA grills Sivasankar for close to 10 hours

Our Bureau. Kochi/Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on July 27, 2020 Published on July 27, 2020

M Sivasankar

M Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to the Kerala Chief Minister, underwent a second round of questioning for close to 10 hours by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Kochi on Monday, as part of the ongoing investigation into the case involving smuggling of gold through the diplomatic channel.

Last week, NIA sleuths had driven down to Thiruvananthapuram to do a preliminary round of interrogation lasting about five hours, following which he was served notice to appear in person at the agency’s Kochi office. Earlier, the Customs, too, had subjected him to questioning for close to 10 hours.

It is learnt that in Kochi, the NIA team was supported by its high-ranking officials from outside the State. The effort of the agency was mainly to get from Sivasankar ‘some clarity’ on the contradictory positions taken by him on a few aspects of the case, and to examine his defence to rule out his direct involvement.

CCTV footages

The NIA has requisitioned CCTV footages from the Government Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram spanning the last two years to confirm the visits of the second accused, Swapna Suresh. She is alleged to have called on Sivasankar many times during the period, including when the contraband was being shipped in.

During the Thiruvananthapuram round of interrogation, Sivasankar is reported to have reiterated his position that he knew both Swapna and Suresh and the first accused PS Sarith, but it didn’t go beyond the familial relationship. He had also denied having anything to do with the smuggling of gold.

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Published on July 27, 2020
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