Hyderabad: Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached fixed Deposits and cash totaling Rs 1.85 crore in the Kerala Gold Smuggling Case. Of the attached assets, Rs 1 crore belongs to M. Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to Chief Minister of Kerala.
ED initiated an investigation under Prevention of Money Laundering Act,2002 (PMLA) on the basis of NIA's FIR filed before the Special Court for NIA cases in Kochi against Sarith P S, Swapna Prabha Suresh, Faisal Fareed and Sandeep Nair under section 16, 17 & 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA). That, the Customs Commissionerate (Preventive), Cochin had seized 30 KG gold worth Rs 14.82 crores at Trivandrum International Airport on July 5, .2020.
"The seized gold was camouflaged as diplomatic baggage to UAE Consulate, which has immunity from checking at the airport as per Vienna Convention. The consignment was to be received by the accused Sarith P.S, who worked in UAE Consulate earlier as Public Relations Officer in complicity with Swapna Prabha Suresh, Sandeep Nair, and others," an ED spokesman said in a statement.
During the investigation, it was revealed that the accused Sarith P S, Swapna Prabha Suresh, Faisal Fareed and Sandeep Nair were indulged in illegal smuggling of gold to India and a huge amount of Proceeds of Crime (POC) were generated. Identified POC totaling to Rs 1.85 belonging to the accused persons have been provisionally attached under PMLA.
Accused M. Sivasankar, IAS was arrested by ED on October 28 and is presently is in Judicial Custody. Earlier a prosecution complaint has been filed in the case.