NEW DELHI: The Customs on Tuesday formally arrested suspended IAS officer M Sivasankar in connection with the Kerala gold smuggling case.
In July, 2020, a 1995 batch IAS officer Sivasankar was removed from the posts of principal secretary to CM and Information Technology (IT) secretary after news reports of his association with Swapna Suresh, charged by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the smuggling racket.
Sources said the sleuths from the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate visited the jail where Sivasankar is presently lodged here after being arrested by the Enforcement Directorate probing the money trail in the gold smuggling case, this morning and recorded his arrest.
They said the central agency will move an application in the court seeking his custody.
The move comes a day after a special court for PMLA cases here granted permission to the Customs to arrest Sivasankar, who is currently in judicial custody, in connection with the sensational case.
The court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) had allowed the prayer by the Customs, which claimed it has got direct incriminating material against Sivasankar, former principal secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, over his “involvement” in the sensational smuggling of gold using diplomatic channel.
The Customs said it has arrested around 15 people, including prime accused Swapna Suresh, Sarith PS and Sandeep Nair, in connection with the seizure of 30 kg smuggled gold illicitly imported as diplomatic baggage of UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5.
The agency said it has now come to light that Sivasankar, who has been arrayed as fifth accused in the case registered by the ED, is also involved in the issue.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), the ED and the Customs are conducting separate investigations into the racket that was busted with the seizure of gold on July 5.
The IAS officer was suspended after his links to Suresh, a former employee of the consulate, surfaced.
With Press Trust of India Inputs