New Delhi, Dec 24 : In a major action in the Kerala gold smuggling case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Thursday that it has attached fixed deposits (FDs) and cash to the tune of Rs 1.85 crore, a significant portion of which belong to M. Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The ED said in a statement that it has attached FDs along with seized cash recovered from bank lockers totalling to Rs 1.85 crore in the Kerala gold smuggling case.
Amon the attached assets, Rs 1 crore belongs to Sivasankar, a senior IAS officer and former Principal Secretary to Vijayan who is one of the prime accused in the case.
The ED has registered a case of money laundering on the basis of an FIR filed by the National Investigation Agency before the special NIA court in Kochi against Sarith P.S., Swapna Suresh, Faisal Fareed and Sandeep Nair.
The gold smuggling case first surfaced when Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram, was arrested by the Customs department on July 5 when he was allegedly facilitating the smuggling of 30 kg gold in a diplomatic baggage from Dubai to Thiruvananthapuram.
The case turned murkier when the involvement of Swapna Suresh, a former employee of the UAE Consulate who was later employed with the Kerala IT Department, came to light.
Her links allegedly stretched to the Chief Minister as she also had connections with Sivasankar. She later revealed that Sivasankar was her mentor.
THe ED said that during investigation, it was revealed that Sarith, Suresh, Fareed and Nair indulged in illegal smuggling of gold to India.
“Identified POC (proceeds of crime) totalling to Rs 1.85 crore belonging to the accused persons have been provisionally attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
Sivasankar was arrested by the ED on October 28 and is currently in judicial custody. The ED has filed a chargesheet in the case.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.