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Customs grills ex-Secretary to Kerala CM on possible links to gold smuggling case

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on July 14, 2020 Published on July 14, 2020

M Sivasankar

Customs Department which has summoned M Sivasankar, ousted from the post of Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan following the airport gold smuggling case, continued his interrogation late into Tuesday evening.

This marks a crucial turn in the sensational case being separately probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Kochi after Sivasankar was linked with the case for allegedly being on the contact list of second accused Swapna Suresh.

The Customs is checking for possible involvement in smuggling of the gold camouflaged in diplomatic baggage.

Contact list

Meanwhile, while addressing reporters to share the daily Covid-19 update, the Chief Minister merely shrugged away reports about KT Jaleel, a Cabinet colleague, figuring in Swapna Suresh’s call list.

He said that Jaleel himself had explained to reporters how the UAE Consulate, where the accused was employed then, had proposed a get together function that necessitated phone calls with her. The Chief Minister announced that daily new Covid-19 cases had reached a new peak of 608 in the State on Tuesday with more than half being infected through contact. The State had reached the penultimate stage of community transmission, which is a cause for major worry.

Covid-19 update

The State has crossed the three levels of Covid-19 transmission as classified by the World Health Organization. These are countries or local areas with (i) no cases reported (ii) sporadic cases (iii) clusters of groups (grouped in place and time) and (iv) community transmission. “The State is teetering on the edge of community transmission and it takes great effort, courage, and pain on our part to evade this phase,” the Chief Minister said.

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Published on July 14, 2020
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