Customs summons Kerala IAS officer in gold smuggling case

Kochi, July 14 (PTI):
IAS officer M Sivasankar, sacked principal secretary of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, was on Tuesday summoned by the Customs as part of the ongoing investigation into the sensational gold smuggling case.
The Customs sleuths in Thiruvananthapuram served the notice to the officer, who has gone on a year-long leave after his name emerged in the case, asking him to cooperate in the probe, sources privy to the development said.
The Commissionerate of Customs (Preventive) here is probing whether Sivasankar, also removed as IT secretary, had used his office to provide any help to the key accused Swapna Suresh, Sandeep Nair and Sarith, the sources said.
The government had removed Sivasankar as Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister and also IT Secretary after allegations that he had links with the woman accused in the case related to the attempt to smuggle gold through diplomatic baggage using the name of a person in the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.
The Customs seized the gold, weighing over 30 kg and valued at around Rs 15 crore.
The National Investigation Agency has been entrusted with the probe into the case by the Centre.

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