The Enforcement Directorate of Kochi unit questioned former Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar in connection with the allegation by a Kerala woman over fraudulent purchasing of gold worth crores from a jewellery firm in Kerala.
Sharmila from Alappuzha has lodged a complaint with the DIG of Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu against Vijayabaskar for allegedly defrauding her of Rs 14 crore and making death threats. Sharmila pointed that her life and property are in danger as she was constantly been threatened by the former minister. The woman also sought police protection.
Meanwhile, Sharmila and her husband Raju are said to have been importing and selling gold from Dubai to prominent private jewellery firms in Kerala on a ‘commission’ basis. Meanwhile, two leading gold-selling jewellery firms in Kerala had lodged a complaint against Sharmila that she had defrauded by not giving them the due gold jewels for the received advance amount.
In 2016, Kottakkal and Thrissur district police of Kerala registered two cases against Sharmila. Subsequently, the woman confessed that she was not involved in any fraudulent activities and that she was getting a commission by selling gold from overseas. Later, these cases were taken over by the Kochi Enforcement Department. During the interrogation of Sharmila confessed that she imported gold worth Rs 250 crore for C Vijayabaskar. Moreover, she said that the jewellery shop owners had lodged a complaint against her for failing to receive the due of Rs 14 crore from Vijayabaskar. In connection with the complaint filed by Sharmila, the ED summoned Vijayabaskar to appear in person at the Kochi ED office for inquiries over the allegations.
On November 29, the former Tamil Nadu minister appeared at the ED office in Kochi for interrogation and the ED officials questioned him for 10 hours.
Meanwhile, Sharmila, who came to Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu on November 3, lodged a complaint that she had received death threats from Vijayabaskar.
When questioned by media after interrogation of ED Officials, C Vijayabaskar said, “I have been summoned as a witness. And I gave information through full co-operation in the ED office. The investigation is over, and officials are satisfied with my answers,” the former minister said.
Incidentally, this has caused a stir in the AIADMK circle as Vijayabaskar has been embroiled in a gold fraud case following the Gutkha scam and disproportionate asset case.