Suspended IAS officer M Sivasankarwas on Thursday remanded to judicial custody till November 26by a court here in an Enforcement Directorate case related tomoney laundering charges in the Kerala gold smuggling racket.
The Special Court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act(PMLA) cases passed the order when Sivasankar was producedbefore it on expiry of his ED custody.
The former principal secretary to Kerala Chief MinisterPinaryi Vijayan, arrested by the ED on October 28, was in thecustody of the central agency for a total of 14 days.
Meanwhile, the agency strongly opposed the bailapplication of Sivasankar when it came up for hearing in thecourt on Thursday.
The court, which heard the arguments of prosecution andthe defence in detail, posted the matter for Tuesday fororders.
The ED alleged that Sivasankar had a role in the goldsmuggling through the diplomatic channel.
The counsel for Sivasankar countered the EDs argument,saying the allegation was raised based only on the statementsgiven by Swapna Suresh, prime accused in the gold smugglingcase, during her custodial interrogation.
In an affidavit filed in the court on Wednesday, the EDhad stated that Suresh has given a statement to it claimingthat Sivasankar and his team in the Chief Ministers Office(CMO) were aware of the smuggling of the gold throughdiplomatic channel.
The National Investigation Agency, Customs and the EDare conducting separate investigations into the seizure ofgold worth nearly Rs 15 crore from a diplomatic baggage of UAEConsulate at Thiruvananthapuram airport on July 5.
The ED has alleged that Sivasankar had intervened to getthe diplomatic baggage containing smuggled gold clearedwithout examination by the Customs at the Thiruvananthapuraminternational airport.
The IAS officer was suspended after his links to Sureshsurfaced.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)