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Gold smuggling case: Kerala CM suspends ex-top aide from service

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on July 16, 2020 Published on July 16, 2020

M Sivasankar

Officer had ‘violated All India Service Rules and displayed lack of diligence’, says report from panel

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has announced that M Sivasankar, a top aide and his former principal secretary and IT secretary, has been suspended from service pending a departmental inquiry.

Sivasankar had been removed from office following suspected links with the accused in the sensational case of gold smuggling through diplomatic channels at the international airport here.

High level panel

The suspension came on Thursday after a high-level committee led by Chief Secretary Vishwas Mehta submitted a report to the Chief Minister recommending action against Sivasankar.

The report said that the senior officer had violated All India Service Rules and displayed lack of diligence while establishing linkages with individuals outside the normal scope of conduct of his official business.

 

Customs officials here had grilled Sivasankar for almost 10 hours and allegedly found evidence that reportedly linked him to Swapna Suresh, the second accused in the case.

Meanwhile, Rashed Khamis Ali Musaiqri Alshemeli, the UAE attaché in Thiruvananthapuram, left New Delhi for his home country on Thursday.

He had left Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday itself, according to available information. The diplomatic baggage containing the contraband gold was addressed to him at the Consulate address.

 

According to sources, the exit of the diplomat comes at a crucial time when investigation agencies had zeroed in on him for having been in regular touch with more than one of the accused in the case.

In New Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs said it is in touch with the UAE government in the matter but refused to comment on reports of the diplomat’s exit from the country.

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Published on July 16, 2020
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