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Kerala Gold smuggling: Sivasankar's activities within definition of concealment under PMLA, says ED

Kerala Gold smuggling: Sivasankar's activities within definition of concealment under PMLA, says ED

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Kochi (Kerala) [India], December 18 (ANI): The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday stated in the Kerala High Court that former principal secretary of the Kerala Chief Minister's Office (CMO) M Sivasankar's activities comes squarely within the definition of concealment under Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
In the hearing of the bail petition, filed by Sivasankar, the ED further said that Kerala Gold Smuggling Case accused Swapna Suresh didn't mention Sivasankar's name initially because he was influential.
The Court reserved the matter for orders.
The ED further stated, "Lower court order denying bail to Sivasankar was well-reasoned. The joint locker operated by Kerala Gold Smuggling Case accused Swapna Suresh and Sivasankar as well as a separate locker she held with Sivasankar's Chartered Accountant. Swapna was not a person of means, she could not have Rs 64 Lakh and gold sovereigns with her."
It further said that Sivasankar had asked for updates on the locker, which showed he had an interest in the money.
"She has admitted that Sivasankar was aware of the gold smuggling. This is the testimony of a co-conspirator. Accused can be given access to the material only after a probe is complete."
The ED further said that Sivasankar telephoned Customs officials on her behalf to clear smuggled gold through customs checks.
"They said we have no material, these days no one makes a telephone call. We make WhatsApp calls, which are encrypted. Difficult to get records of these, but cannot say we have no material.
The investigation is still going on. ED empowered to investigate and investigation ongoing," it added.
The ED concluded by saying that this was not a simple case, as Sivasankar had influence, and power, the wherewithal to tamper with evidence, and influence witnesses. (ANI)

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