ED files chargesheet against ex-IAS officer Sivasankar

ED files chargesheet against suspended IAS officer Sivasankar in gold smuggling case

With the agency filing the chargesheet, the chances of Sivasankar getting bail in the ED case became bleak

Suspended IAS officer M Sivasankar being taken into custody by Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in connection to the Kerala gold smuggling case, in Kochi, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. Credit: PTI File Photo

The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday filed a chargesheet against Kerala chief minister's former principal secretary M Sivasankar in the money laundering case.

Steps were also being initiated to attach his assets.

According to sources, the ED accused that Sivasankar played a key role in the smuggling activities and received a commission from the UAE agency-funded housing scheme in Kerala.

The agency also suspects that about Rs 1.8 crore recovered from other key accused in the gold smuggling, including the UAE consulate former employee Swapna Suresh, was received as a commission by Sivasankar.

In the supplementary chargesheet filed under section 44 and 45 of PMLA for commission of offence of money laundering, the ED alleged that Sivasankar had knowingly assisted the three in smuggling of gold through diplomatic channel.

With the agency filing the chargesheet, the chances of Sivasankar getting bail in the ED case became bleak.

LIFE Mission is a state project envisaging total housing for the homeless. The ED claimed Sivasankar parked the illegal money accepted from Eappen in the bank lockers held jointly by Swapna Suresh and P Venugopal, his chartered accountant, in a scheduled bank and a nationalised bank branches in Thiruvananthapuram.

He committed the offence of money laundering under Section 3, punishable under Section 4 of the PMLA, it said. The ED alleged that Sivasankar was in close contact with another woman to whom he was sharing the day-to-day developments of gold smuggling issue.

Besides ED, the National Investigating Agency and the Customs are conducting separate inquiries into the seizure of gold worth nearly Rs 15 crore from diplomatic baggage at Thiruvananthapuram International airport on July 5.

(With PTI inputs)